Supply chain shake-up saves more than £450,000

NHS organisation makes savings by consolidating supplier of hip and knee products

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust saved £458,060 by reducing the number of orthotics suppliers

An NHS trust is saving more than £450,000 a year after changing its supplier of hip and knee products for orthopaedic surgery.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust merged in 2019 and decided to undertake the orthopaedic project together with support from NHS Supply Chain.

This enabled the trusts to move to one orthopaedic provider for all products as soon as they had merged to achieve best value across both sites.

As a result, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust saved £458,060 against a previous annual spend of £1,509,396 - a saving of 30%.

The savings were achieved by going from seven different suppliers to one and rationalising the product range for surgeons.

A trust spokesman said: “We worked closely with NHS Supply Chain and the suppliers on this orthopaedic project to evaluate and rationalise the product range.

“Their expertise relating to the pricing exercise enabled the timescales to be reduced and the savings were realised earlier than anticipated.”

Emmi Mitrunen, a category manager specialising in orthopaedics at NHS Supply Chain, added: “It was very important that the product alternatives were clinically acceptable across both hospital sites.

“We offered access to a breadth of products and the ability to continue close working relationships with suppliers while remaining compliant.”

The clinicians agreed to look at five different suppliers, who were all invited to present their products at a supplier day.

As a result, two were identified as being able to supply a full range of hips and knees across both sites.

Each supplier’s products were then trialled at both sites, with one supplier taking part at a time.

This enabled all clinicians to participate in the trials.

NHS Supply Chain was able to deliver products, expertise and pricing available under the Total Orthopaedic Solutions framework.

The standardised compliant process was managed from beginning to end by NHS Supply Chain on behalf of the trust, including providing product analysis, organising meetings and supplier days, providing contract documentation, and ensuring everyone involved was kept up-to-date with developments.

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