Royal Surrey’s procurement subsidiary, Healthcare Partners Limited (HPL), has been shortlisted for the HSJ Awards 2021 in the Integrated Care System of the Year category.
In January-, HPL set up a centralised wound care ordering system, working in collaboration with Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) and its medicines management team.
The joint project was launched in just three months and has improved the efficiency and traceability of orders, reduced unnecessary stock holding, saved time for clinical staff responsible for ordering products and made significant savings. It has also helped improved patient experience by reducing the time taken between the ordering and delivery of items.
Neil Routledge, Head of Procurement, said: “Prior to our collaboration, the ordering system for wound care products was very ad hoc. About £4m a year was being spent on wound care products but there was little control over stock ordering. There was too much stock being held and in some cases the ICS was paying over the odds for items. We were approached to put together a joint proposal that we would take all of Surrey Heartlands’ wound care ordering and order the ICS’s products through Royal Surrey’s HPL managed service model.
“Essentially, we’ve been able to standardise the ordering so it’s just once a week. We’ve also put governance and processes in place, so there’s more control about what’s being ordered, how it’s being ordered and why it’s being ordered. We’re probably on track to save about £1m across the patch, which is fantastic.”
The centralised ordering system delivers to 260 sites, including acute trusts, nursing homes, practice nurses in GP surgeries, tissue viability nurse and district nurses.
The joint working between HPL and Surrey Heartlands is a successful demonstration of collaborative working in line with the principles of the Integrated Care System, which aims to bring acute and primary care closer together.
Sara Smith, a Clinical Procurement Specialist, who helped lead the project, said: “When we set out, we knew that wound care spend was around £3.1billion per year nationally. Add to this the separation between primary and secondary acute care, and we could see the need for collaboration was very apparent.
“By integrating clinical services, different teams and patient treatment pathways, we’ve helped embed a long term ICS. We’re hoping this will open up other opportunities for collaboration. We’d like people to come to us and say, ‘we’ve seen what you did here, could you look at this service now?’”
Sara added: “While other centralised ordering systems have been set up by a few Trusts around the country, they don’t appear to offer the same support. Our uniqueness is definitely in our customer service, data visibility and clinical support in terms of the standardisation of products.”
Congratulations to HPL and Surrey Heartlands for their fantastic collaborative working and successful shortlisting for the HSJ Awards. We wish you all the best for the next selection stage of the awards process on 27 September. Good luck.