Simplifying complex inter-organisational networks
The NHS is the single biggest organisation in the UK and should be able to use the economies of scale this implies to its advantage.
But it has often paid too much for many of its supplies, not made best use of the capabilities of its supplier base, and spent too little on developing procurement itself.
NHS procurement has traditionally involved complex inter-organisational networks spanning suppliers, manufacturers of medical technologies, NHS procurers of technologies, clinical teams, patient representative groups and stakeholders such as the Royal Colleges and Universities.
The lack of a collaborative approach to procurement among these parties, and the disconnected purchasing points across the NHS system, meant potential savings were rarely achieved.