04 March 2004 | Simon Binns
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) could buy medical supplies for government departments other than health.
The commercial directorate set up by the Department of Health (DoH) to review NHS spending will recommend "decentralising power as regional confederations are given more power to buy medical supplies based on local demand".
Ken Anderson, commercial director at the DoH and the man charged with leading the review, told SM that while Pasa "had not been ineffective", it may be asked to focus on other areas of buying.
"If anything, we may well choose to strengthen Pasa's role," he said. "There will be no reduction of its buying power, although we may look to use its buying strengths in other government departments."
Accelerating the devolutionary process by giving more power to regional confederations made a lot of sense, said Anderson. He predicted that it would work well.
He added that the change in strategy could lead to staff from Pasa being redeployed among the regional confederations.
Anderson also revealed that the department was actively recruiting a team from the private sector to put into practice the recommendations of the review, which is now slated for publication in the next few months.A full interview with Ken Anderson will appear in the 1 April issue of SM