NHS Supply Chain has a target of £2.4bn savings over the next five years; an ambitious goal which will see funds ploughed back into frontline services.
But it’s not just about saving money. NHS Supply Chain also makes life easier and more efficient for staff in trusts across the country, and the Office Furniture framework is a case in point.
Office furniture is not necessarily an area you would associate with the NHS, but health service procurement is not all about beds and bandages. NHS Supply Chain Office Solutions, provided by Crown Commercial Services, is a key element of the procurement offer, and gets enquiries ranging from a ward clerk wanting to place an order for a chair, to a procurement specialist wanting to source bulk purchases or run mini competitions for a major project. Over 95% of all queries or pricing requests are answered the same day.
NHS Supply Chain Office Solutions has also created a Guide to Office Furniture. Not only is this a comprehensive brochure for the wide range of available products, but it also includes a guide to ‘what makes a seat comfortable?’ This makes selecting a chair as easy as possible – very helpful when there are lots of possible options.
For more bespoke specifications, for example personalised orthopaedic seating, the team works with suppliers to procure the most suitable items at competitive prices. Suppliers can also help with recycling, repairs and refurbishments to help both save money and protect the environment.
Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust is just one NHS customer that has benefited from the NHS Supply Chain approach. Matt Armitage from the trust commented on his experience working with Category Specialist Suzi Richards:
“I’ve been really impressed by how Suzi has dealt with me over the last few weeks. She’s consistently exceeded my expectations in supplying me with information on products. I have asked a lot of questions via email and I’ve never felt that she didn’t have time for me or anything was too much trouble. She’s worked on my behalf to make sure I get the best price for my trust.”
One of the other big advantages of the framework is that NHS Supply Chain Office Solutions can take the hard work out of running mini competitions or even just price matching. Several large projects run through the Office Furniture framework last year resulted in significant savings. And NHS Supply Chain is able to use its expertise and supplier know-how so that the customer can sit back until it is time to award the project.