NHS could save £300m by improving supply chain

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Sentient Health estimates that the NHS could save £300 million over three years through more effective supply chain management.

A recent study by McKinsey on behalf of the Department of Health identified that potential savings of £1.1 – £1.9 billion could be realised through more effective supply chain and procurement management.

Research by Sentient Health, which works in partnership with DHL, the operator of NHS Supply Chain, suggests that poor stock control is a major source of inefficiency for hospitals.

It claims that 30 per cent of purchased medical and surgical products end up being thrown away, and stock that isn’t used after 90 has an 85 per cent chance of being wasted.

At one trust, the company discovered a possible saving of £1 million which could be achieved by optimising inventory levels, reducing stock over-ordering and minimising wastage from expired stock

Joel Haspel, chief executive of Sentient Health said: “Poor stock control not only wastes valuable clinical time but can also lead to cancelled procedures, impacting the quality of frontline patient care. 

“Typically, when we work with clinicians to review stock levels, we need to increase some product levels, whilst lowering others. We found at one hospital that in order to ultimately reduce stock by £600,000 we had to increase stock levels for 80 items in the first month.”

Sentient Health makes the MedTrac Hospital Supply Chain software, which is designed to offer efficient control of medical supplies, tracking product consumption by patient, procedure and doctor.

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