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Procurement clients achieving Lord Carter efficiency targets

It is over a year since Lord Carter of Coles published his final report on operational productivity in NHS hospitals, which has given procurement a far higher profile than ever before.

By shining a light on some poor practices and encouraging better procurement, Lord Carter said the NHS as a whole could save around £700 million.

To help provider trusts realise significant savings at a local level, NHS SBS has been working with clients to ensure they can meet a range of targets set out in his report.


Lord Carter said that by September 2017 hospitals should achieve:

80% addressable spend transaction volume on catalogue

Put simply, this measure aims to increase the proportion of goods and services that NHS providers buy from catalogues - ensuring that hospitals benefit from the best possible contracted prices with suppliers.

NHS SBS can create and manage a bespoke catalogue for every different NHS organisation we work with. The current level of catalogue performance across all of our procurement customers is, on average, 84% - with some clients in excess of 95%.

90% addressable spend transaction with a purchase order

By increasing the level at which purchases are linked to purchase order (PO) numbers, hospitals have a much clearer picture of where and how budgets are being spent. Greater intelligence on spend inevitably leads to better business decisions.

NHS SBS clients benefit from electronic POs as standard and we work with customers to help them introduce 'no PO, no pay', standardisation and rationalising programmes across their organisation.

90% addressable spend by value under contract

Ensuring that more NHS spend is via negotiated contracts means hospitals can benefit from better prices - through economies of scale - and can be assured that an appropriate procurement process has been carried out.

NHS SBS manages over 100 framework contracts that cover goods and services that the NHS needs. They are ready-to-use, fully compliant with complex UK and EU procurement legislation and many are free to access for provider trusts.


In 2016/17, our operational procurement team processed over £18 billion worth of transactions on behalf of the NHS.

To hear how your organisation could benefit from our procurement expertise, contact Phil Davies, Head of Integrated Procurement Partnering, on 07770 982 322 or phil_davies@nhs.net

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