The introduction of an electronic procurement system across the NHS could save up to £5m per hospital annually, according to a new report.
The Department of Health report, entitled NHS e-ProcurementStrategy, suggested that adopting the system would produce annual savings of between £3 million and £5 million for a 600-bed hospital – however it highlighted that it would take “several years of concerted effort” to achieve these goals.
“The ambition of this strategy is for all NHS purchase-to-pay transactions and all category management activities to be undertaken by electronic means to cover all non-pay expenditure,” said the report.
“It will take several years of concerted effort across the NHS landscape, and across the NHS supplier base, to achieve this ambition.”
Under the strategy, the adoption of barcoding of products and PEPPOL, a European IT standard that allows suppliers to interact with the public sector, will be mandatory for both NHS providers and suppliers through conditions of contract.
David Rabjohns, e-commerce enterprise architect at NHS Supply Chain, said: “This strategy will allow transparency throughout the NHS procurement process, simplifying the supply chain, driving cost efficiencies, increasing accuracy and allowing greater compliance. It will also enable a more unified system of procurement across the NHS, enabling product comparison, aggregation and standardisation across trusts.”
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