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Buying into procurement: the RCN campaign to make better use of health service money

Rose Gallagher reflects on the RCN Small Changes Big Differences campaign and why every healthcare organisation needs a specialist procurement nurse
Procurement

Rose Gallagher reflects on the RCN Small Changes Big Differences campaign and why every healthcare organisation needs a specialist procurement nurse

Procurement of equipment and consumables to the NHS in England is complex and has historically centred on a broad catalogue of products, and on cost being a major driver to support the selection of items.

The engagement of nursing staff to support product selection has grown since 2011, when the RCN was approached to help support open and constructive communication between the NHS and NHS Supply Chain, with the ultimate aim of saving NHS money.

The positive development of strategic engagement however was not matched locally as, for nurses at that time, the language of ‘procurement’ meant that many did not recognise the hidden value it could offer through the experience, insight and skills developed in their clinical roles.

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