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23.10.12 – Govtoday: Clinical engagement drives major savings at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Significant savings at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust were made possible by clinical and non-clinical teams working together to reduce procurement costs in the areas of reconstructive and trauma orthopaedics

Over £300,000 was saved within three months on hip products alone, with the final savings delivery across all categories including upper and lower limb, trauma and pulse lavage forecast to be up to £500,000, representing a 28 per cent saving.

A cross-functional commercial and clinical team was formed which reported directly to the Clinical Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

Bill Martin, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and the Lead Clinician on the Mid Essex Orthopaedic Procurement Project says: “The initial worry that financial pressures would lead us towards accepting substandard implants or major inventory changes has not been borne out, and it was reassuring to be involved in the process as a surgeon.”

The work is part of a wider programme of procurement cost reduction at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, led by procurement consultancy INVERTO.

Richard McIntosh, UK Managing Director of INVERTO, says: “Using our product and market knowledge we were able to supply accurate cost modelling and scenarios to the clinicians for them to base their decisions on. The results clearly demonstrate the power of clinical engagement and what can be achieved when you combine specialist procurement expertise, clinical and commercial expertise and the backing of the Trust board.”

With 12 orthopaedic and trauma consultants, Mid Essex Hospital Service NHS Trust undertakes 800 procedures a year, split between hips and knees, spending around £2.9m with suppliers in this category.

Nick Gerrard, Chief Financial Officer, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, comments: “Inverto’s market and product knowledge have been invaluable in helping the Trust deliver substantial cost savings in a short space of time, and they have given our procurement savings plans real impetus. They have the ability to talk the clinicians language, optimise the procurement process and deliver a result the Trust could not have achieved itself.”

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