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An interview with Peter Smith on the future of NHS Procurement

peter smith and the future of nhs procurementFormer UK Health Minster, Dan Poulter, recently shocked the nation with evidence to suggest that the NHS is being “ripped off” by two billion pounds per year.

In a column in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “In short, our hospitals are getting ripped off left, right and centre. And with £18 in every £100 you pay in tax being spent on the NHS, that means you’re getting ripped off.”

Buying more diligently and implementing cost-saving practices is a must if our NHS is to survive a time of great uncertainty. With this in mind, the NHS also has approximately 1.5 million employees that need to be informed and inspired ready to implement the next innovations that will change NHS procurement forever.

So, ahead of our NHS Procurement Conference, we got in touch with event speaker Peter Smith from Spend Matters to learn a little bit more about the upcoming changes and transitions that procurement professionals are going to have to conquer.

To get started, we asked Peter: “Why is NHS procurement important to you?”

“I think NHS procurement is important to all.

The NHS is central to everyone’s lives in the UK and, we invest a lot of taxpayers’ money in it.

Procurement includes so many different services, from pharmaceuticals and drugs, to management, consultancy, and food – It encapsulates all and effects everyone.”

The way that different services communicate and work together is a prominent factor that will affect the future success of the NHS. If spending isn’t under control and poor supplier deals continue to drain public funding, then the future of our healthcare services is precarious.

A collaborative approach to these big issues and processes can help us to evolve our public services together so that they can serve everyone more effectively – Make sure that your health service has to tools needed to take action and create positive change.

“Why is this event important for those involved in NHS procurement?”

“It’s so easy to think that the current moment is the most important to an organisation, but this is a critical time for the NHS and procurement.

We now know about GURFT and the FOM plan. Technology is also moving very quickly and digitisation is also going to have a big impact on procurement.

This is a time of great opportunity, but also one with real issues and challenges for NHS procurement.”

You can seize the opportunity to hear more from Peter, along with the rest of the insightful thought leaders on our speaker panel by joining us on the 12th December – Get your free tickets here with code NHSCONF!

“What are the biggest challenges you are facing at the moment?”

“Definitely technology!

It’s seeing your way through a baffling range of new ideas, technology, and systems so that we can understand what will have an impact quickly, and the long-term effects of transformational technologies.

In the short-term, spend analysis, benchmarking and product coding are high on the agenda – but in 3-5 years, it will be AI or blockchain that really make a huge difference.

AI is going to change the world!”

Widespread adoption of AI could free up as much as £12.5bn a year worth of staff time for them to spend interacting with patients. This has the potential to impact the quality of care that healthcare professionals can give to patients and could increase the amount of time that they can dedicate to each individual which can drive positive patient outcomes.

“In your opinion, what are the implications and benefits of the Future Operating Model (FOM) for local procurement?”

“I think that it’s still not clear.

However, this is the ideal time for NHS procurement professionals to come together and I have no doubt that the Future Operating Model has the potential for creating positive change.

In my opinion, this will only happen if everyone works together. Which means local procurement, as well as regional and national.

At the moment I perceive some nervousness still, and I hope over the next 6 months or so, the roles of all of the key players within that landscape will become clearer.”

“What changes do you think we will see in the future?”

“The biggest changes to come from technology.

I don’t think that the procurement profession is going to disappear, however, it will change.

This applies across the NHS as well as every other major organisation.”

“Are you excited about the potential impact that this will have on the NHS as a whole?”

“I’m probably more excited about the tech than the Future Operating Model to be honest.

I have been reassured by senior-level appointments made in key positions, but, I’d like to wait and see what the category strategies emerging from The Tower before I decide if I’m excited or not.”

Learn more about the future of NHS procurement

Peter Smith will be the chairman of our Future of NHS Procurement conference Manchester on December 12th. 2018.

Join us to hear more from him as well as our other expert panelists and start planning a brighter procurement future for the NHS as a whole.

Get your free tickets here with promo code NHSCONF!


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