The Procurement Team
The Procurement Team share why they're proud to care.
Our aim as a Procurement Team is to ensure the procurement of best quality for value equipment, goods and services for patients of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust. We do this by making sure that LCH clinicians are fully involved in the decision making for purchasing equipment, goods or services and by engaging suppliers to demonstrate the equipment before LCH makes a decision to buy.
We are Proud to Care because our work enables LCH clinicians to feel confident that any equipment they have prescribed is fit for purpose, that patients are receiving the best value equipment, goods or service, that our work helps LCH services to save money and helps contribute to the improvement of the organisation as a whole. All savings that the Procurement Team make goes back into the budget of the relevant service to further invest in patient care.
One of our biggest successes as a team was working with the continence home delivery service. The service spends around £2.3million a year on their home delivery products. The service team work with a preferred supplier who they are familiar with and have a strong relationship with them. However, this sometimes leaves little room for negotiation with the supplier as the supplier knows the team will always buy from them. The Procurement Team therefore spent a lot of time looking at an alternative ways and methods to buy the same products. We undertook lengthy negotiations (around eight months) but eventually managed to negotiate an 8% commitment rebate, which equates to £98,000 a year. This is one of our biggest achievements but it’s also one of many savings we make.
We saved £12,000 on examination gloves just by switching supplier. We also bought a fleet of vehicles for CEDAS, saving £150,000 on the original quote the service got from the supplier. Making significant savings like these are really rewarding as we never compromise on the service or the items we purchase. It is not about the cheapest goods or services, it is about sourcing the best quality for value for goods or services.
Our role can sometimes be challenging to find the best value goods and services while adhering to LCH’s Standing Financial Instructions. For example, if an order is over £10,000 we have to source three different quotations. For higher value orders we need to adhere to further rules and regulations which can sometimes mean negotiations can be difficult and lengthy, however we will always make sure that we find the best quality for value goods or services!
We’re proud to care because our work helps to improve the value of LCH services, and their ability to make savings means more money can be invested in the care we provide to our patients. We recently received a compliment from a supplier. They said:
'Just a note to thank you for your time last week, it was much appreciated, as well as for the recently awarded business. Thanks also for the feedback about Bruce and the presentation team, which I have passed on. As I mentioned to you, the team had already commented to me on the professionalism of the Liverpool procurement process.'
We get a lot of different queries from both clinical and corporate staff. Our role is to find and source the goods or services and then recommend what we think is the best quality for value offering to the relevant service and our patients.
We also train people on our Oracle system – our strapline for that is ‘get it right, first time’. We think this reinforces the importance of delivering quality services throughout LCH, regardless of whether you’re on the frontline or not.