“We are very grateful for the services provided by the Hub for our STP wide procurement for online consulting. From start to the finish the support provided was brilliant!”
“I continue to be very pleased with the service being provided by the hub on the online consultations programme. They are responsive with us, diligent in applying their expertise, and are clearly serving CCGs in a way they're appreciating”
Dr Robert Varnam PhD MSc MRCGP, Director of General Practice Development
NHS England commissioned SCW to develop and provide the NHS Commercial and Procurement Hub.
The aim of the commission was to harness the capability and capacity of NHS procurement organisations to support successful and sustained digital investment in the technology element of the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF) schemes and GPIT applicants, whilst also facilitating networking with other national programmes active in the digital technology space to identify collaborative procurement opportunities.
With NHS England as the main customer, a key aim was to provide a legally sound route to market for the fast paced and changing landscape for GP Online Consultation (GPOC) services, along with comprehensive support to drive Value for Money (VfM) and offer opportunity for collaboration across CCGs and STPs.
The Hub maintains support to national and regional NHS England leads by providing input into several high value integration business cases to:
- Critically review digital procurement strategies for all options
- Identification of the most viable and cost effective procurement options
- Cross cover and linking regions together and blurring boundaries
- Building key relationships and working closer together
- Ensure projects are legally compliant and robust mitigating the risk of supplier challenge and keeping customers safe.
Technical & Professional Expertise: The Hub is made up of 10 procurement professionals:
- 1 x Director/Commercial Lead – Extensive CIPS procurement, Program Management and Leadership skillset
- 4 x Regional Procurement Specialist – CIPS and PRINCE2 trained procurement specialists
- 1 x Category Expert – Procurement Category Management and NHS Contracting expert
- 1 x PMO Manager – Project and program management and NHS contracting Expertise
- 3 x Procurement Support Officer – wide ranging co-ordination and administration experience all working towards CIPS qualifications.
Using the expertise available, we have been able to deliver:
Efficiency, Savings, Sustainability and VfM
- Innovative practice: Video training, WebEx moderation sessions, fully electronic processes
- Utilising the most efficient methods available to pass efficiencies back to the contracting authority.
- Driving huge savings, for example up to 71% for a specific digital initiative to transform general practice, on allocated budgets, through a robustly constructed and legally sound procurement route, and further advice on re-investment on savings released to ensure ongoing VFM.
- Commercial pricing strategies developed with customers and suppliers alike to create a more transparent and collaborative procurement landscape, ensuring sustainability and best value for money throughout the supply chain.
Advice and Guidance
- Commercial, procurement and market management advice and guidance
- Financial advice: budgeting for VAT for GPOC and driving VfM through the supply chain
- Change Management for CCGs; value comparison of in-housing or outsourcing
- Contracting: drafting and advice on NHS standard form contracting expertise and ongoing performance review with suppliers.
- Advice for the implementation of Public Contacts Regulated processes through an experienced team to ensure regulatory compliance and risk mitigated outcomes for contracting authorities.
Assurance through Supplier and Contract Management
- Extensive supplier validation to precede CCG due diligence checks prior to contract award.
- Comprehensive category management with in-depth supplier involvement to offer key product benchmarking for advice and guidance on specifying requirements.
- Analysis of bids, returns, compliance checks and financial reviews to give assurance to contracting authorities pre-procurement, during the process and into contract management.
- High levels of intensive, direct supplier management with all suppliers from application through to contract performance review; providing assurance to contracting authorities about the market capability prior to commencing procurements and awarding contracts.
Shared Learning across the ETTF and GPFV Online Programme and STP footprints
Risk Identification and Management
Use of appropriate risk mitigation strategies from a project management trained workforce
- 90% rate using the hub as a very positive experience
- 60% of requests to the hub have been for specialist procurement advice & guidance across a range of ETTF/GPIT schemes and wider procurement projects
- 80% of hub users found the team easily accessible and 74% found the approach extremely professional
- Savings for the Financial Year 2017/18 totalled £3,481,398.
- Savings: £273,498 – Cost Avoidance: £498k – Influenced spend: £21.5m
- Establishment of an extremely well managed list of approved suppliers on the DPS for Online Consultation and a demonstrable
- 71%* price drop in the cost of online consultation services across the whole of England with continuing Integrated Care Partnerships and a downward trend in pricing for GPOC services
- Commission has been extended for a further 12 months to 2019
*based on an average of 24p per patient against the allocation of 85pp.
National Commercial and Procurement Hub