In 2008 NHS Camden Shared Procurement Service, the
organisation which provided procurement services to
NHS Camden Commissioning, NHS Camden Provider
Services, NHS Islington Provider Services, NHS Islington
Commissioning, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
and Commissioning Support for London, realised that its
own fragmented systems typified the much criticised NHS
It acted to address the shortcomings, implementing a
Procurement Platform from UNIT4 which has helped
it deliver impressive cost savings, increase customer
satisfaction by 200% and address on-going change with
minimal cost and without disruption. It has been so
successful that NHS Camden is now considering spinning out
the procurement service as an independent social enterprise,
so that other organisations can benefit from its expertise.
This is the story of how they did it.
“We needed to change the scope from buying to sourcing
value for money on behalf of the NHS,” said Jeffry Nielsen,
Head of Procurement Cooperative at NHS NCL (North
Central London) Procurement Cooperative. “We needed to
position ourselves to adapt to the NHS reforms we knew
were coming, we had to act.
“As it stood purchases were being made outside the
Procurement Department and that led to disjointed
purchasing with lost buying power from too broad
a range of products and suppliers. This resulted in
reduced opportunities to consolidate demand, manage
suppliers, rationalise products used and control usage by
The Cooperative’s vision was to combine the purchasing
power of all organisations in the shared services and build a
function that could adapt to the expected change.
This meant moving all six organisations, with 1400
requisitioners across 200 locations away from a mass of
antiquated paper based systems to a single, standardised,
modern procurement solution. It was therefore crucial to
select the right technology to underpin the new structure.
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