Interview: “We are challenged by the government to improve efficiency”
National Procurement (NP) -- part of National Services Scotland (NSS) -- is the sourcing division for National Health Service Scotland (NHSS). It is Scotland’s largest public procurement organisation, managing over 1.5 billion pounds ($1.85 billion) in contracts for the country’s health service.
The various constituents of the UK -- England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales -- have broadly similar systems of private- and publicly-funded healthcare.
These systems are generally referred to as National Health Services (NHS). Yet, they are funded differently, with ownership devolved to each country. NP sources many types of medical and non-medical items -- ranging from MRI scanners and blood transfusion kits to bed linens and food. Every month, NP makes around 950 deliveries to Scottish hospitals and health centres. Its National Distribution Centre provides a range of 8,800 products, and serves Scotland’s population of about 5.3 million.
NP has been contracting and managing commercial arrangements on behalf of NHSScotland for over 12 years. Notably, sixty percent of all non-pay spend across NHSScotland is covered contractually by NP. The organisation uses an electronic tendering tool called PCS-Tender, which is centrally funded by the Scottish Government.
At his Gyle Square office in Edinburgh, Head of Procurement Steven McLaughlin, a senior manager within the NP structure, described to Beroe in an interview the level of detail and clinical engagement that NP carries out to ensure that their supply contracts are optimal for the NHS in Scotland.
“Of course, the objective is to leverage our full buying power by purchasing in bulk. However, we have a clear focus on ensuring that the contract has the correct specifications and has been approved across the clinical community. This ensures we reduce costs, and -- more importantly -- that we deliver the required patient care experience,” Steven said.
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