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Sunday, 4 January 2009

The NHS is wasting £2.1 billion a year through poor procurement procedures, a report says.

NHS wasting £2.1 billion a year in procurement inefficiencies
report in the Sunday Telegraph


"The study uncovered huge inefficiencies, with procedures for buying goods and services little changed since the 1950s.

It found no common item codes or descriptions used by the NHS or its suppliers, while in some trusts orders are placed without any tendering process, often without an agreed contract price.

The method of buying goods and services varied hugely from trust to trust and different departments within the same trust used numerous systems.

Vast quantities of paper-based invoices were being generated, requiring huge numbers of permanent employees in accounts departments to match invoices to orders.

The report, published today by the think tank Policy Exchange, also found that dozens of health service projects and innovations are abandoned before they have any impact on care.

Of the £2.7 billion spent on the creation of ideas within the NHS, only a small proportion, £153 million, is actually spent on spreading the innovations down to patient level.

By spending nearly 16 times more on invention rather than diffusion, millions of pounds is being wasted in generating ideas that are never implemented."

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