Digital procurement transformation continues to advance in the NHS, courtesy of NHS Shared Business Services’ new consumer-style digital procurement hub.
NHS Shared Business Services has rolled out the new development to four major NHS organisations in the form of its cloud marketplace, the Edge4Health.
The aim is to achieve improved cost reductions, better visibility, enhanced data management and stronger purchasing compliance in the health service.
The Edge4Health cloud platform is now being used by over a thousand NHS employees to purchase nearly a million products, from syringes to laptops.
The four NHS organisations using the hub are Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
To date, over £8m of NHS spending has occurred via the platform.
Earlier applications supporting procurement in the NHS were widely seen as complicated and hard to use.
NHS Shared Business Services’ managing director David Morris said that the new, robustly designed digital platform will eventually benefit hundreds of NHS organisations and will transform the way that the NHS manages its procurement processes for years to come.
The platform is currently being extended from the four piloting trusts to the rest of the NHS.
Alan Hoskins, procurement director at NHS South of England Procurement Services (which, along with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, helped develop and refine the platform), described the new system as intuitive and able to slash time diverted into previously lengthy admin processes linked to buying.
He added that a large positive is having supplier-managed catalogues to facilitate the reallocation of resources, which enables the team to carry out more valuable work with suppliers regarding negotiations and monitoring, and also more on reporting.
The Edge4Health, he continued, has already lowered the volume of queries relating to invoices.