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NHS procurement in line for shake up

The National Health Service (NHS) could be set for a windfall as its Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) considers an initiative that could see them recover millions of pounds in wrongly paid service charges.

The potential money raised would be invested in new green energy and environmental solutions and go a long way in helping to implement the organisation’s target of cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The scheme has already seen some sectors within the NHS and companies outside of the health industry recoup millions. The SDU would team up with MAID – a UK profit recovery specialist – to identify areas of overspend.

“This is exciting and we can see a phenomenal opportunity for the NHS to reclaim money and invest that money in sustainable measures, like energy reduction initiatives,” Richard Davies, at MAID, told Building Better Healthcare.

The process involves analysing payments made for services, such as research and development, utilities and telecoms.

Mr Davies said: “The complexity of today’s procurement to payment process means that every transaction is open to misunderstanding and supplier error. In our experience, 99.7% of payable and receivable transactions are processed accurately – that 0.3% is lost profit. Individually, these errors may be small but, collectively, they can add up to millions of pounds.

“Overall, accounts payable is a small percentage of an organisation’s activity, but the numbers in terms of potential savings are very high. We think this will be a key area for the NHS moving forward.”

It has been mooted that MAID would receive payment only where savings can be found. The SDU would then pass on these savings to the individual NHS Trusts that operate regionally, allowing them a short-term capital revenue boost and longer term cuts to energy prices.

David Bailey Furniture Systems is keen to see the NHS divert more resources towards sustainable options. As a leading manufacturer of fitted hospital furniture for NHS and private healthcare projects, we have long been interested in creating more sustainable furniture. Much of our furniture for hospitals relies on creating sustainable solutions where individual units or worktops can be replaced to keep costs to a minimum.

We hope the initiative is a success!

To stay up to date with this and other initiatives, visit the NHS SDU’s website.

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