Partnership between Sheffield trusts and NHS Supply Chain saves spinal surgeries £80,000

A recent collaboration between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Supply Chain has resulted in savings of £80,000 through reviewing suppliers of spinal surgery metalwork.

The partnership was prompted by the discontinuation of several spinal surgery products by the existing supplier, which meant that the surgical technique in the treatment for scoliosis would have to be changed. The trusts sought to ensure that any new supplier would be able to maintain the best possible outcome for children with curvature of the spine.

With a diverse team of spinal consultants working across both sites, the trusts identified opportunities for collaboration and innovation. A project team was established consisting of spinal and neurosurgeons, procurement leads, decontamination services, theatre list planners, theatre nurses and logistics staff from both trusts.

Working with NHS Supply Chain, they conducted a tabletop exercise to evaluate the suitability and efficacy of the potential products to ensure the highest standards of patient care, whilst also securing a better price from the new supplier contracts.

The new suppliers are now fully implemented in both trusts, with reported savings of around £80,000.

Michael Athanassacopoulos, Consultant Spinal Surgeon, said: “NHS Supply Chain spent time to understand our data and break it down into procedural costs which made any benchmarking exercise more meaningful at a clinical level. They also took time to understand how our service worked and how any procurement exercise could add value or develop our service. Utilising engagement managers from a clinical background was also very helpful as there was a basic shared language that made the project accessible by clinicians not familiar with procurement processes.”