ABHI Membership

ABHI eProcurement Strategy Conference: Connecting the Dots

Speaking from his West Suffolk constituency last month, Matt Hancock, the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, had a clear message: “tech transformation is coming”. Announcing a £487m plan to digitalise hospitals, he cited the success of the Scan4Safety scheme as an example of the sort of programme the NHS should look to replicate, if it is to upgrade its systems and practices effectively.

Whilst the acknowledgment of technology’s capability is wholly welcome, the reality surrounding Scan4Safety is somewhat different.  

As many of you will know, the eProcurement strategy, is about uniquely identifying patients, products and places. The strategy employs GS1 standard and PEPPOL to realise, among other things, patient safety benefits and supply chain efficiencies (à la Lord Carter). As such, the Department of Health and Social Care expects trusts to roll-out Scan4Safety, and for suppliers to the NHS to be compliant.

The principle is sound, and we at ABHI have long been supportive of the eProcurement strategy since it was first introduced over four years ago. However, questions have been raised around the speed at which the plan is being rolled-out across the NHS, as well as how it is being adopted throughout the whole system, from start to finish.

Industry’s implementation of the various milestones have also been questioned. While Members indicated, via a recent ABHI survey, that one of the major challenges is balancing the eProcurement requirements with the timelines of UDI, set out as part of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR). Delegates at the ABHI eProcurement strategy conference on 18th September will no doubt be keen to hear from the MHRA’s Andy Crosbie and understand more about how the eProcurement/Scan4Safety requirements fit with those of the MDR.

Conference goers will also hear from Manchester University NHS FT’s Head of P2P, Mark Stevens, who, despite not being one of the pilot sites, is a firm advocate of the eProcurement strategy, having been one of the strategies early adopters.

To provide practical guidance, we will be using industry case studies from suppliers as they take us through their eProcurement implementation journey and their lessons learned. eProcurement specialists, including Frankie Wallace, will join the list of speakers, including GSI and OpenPEPPOL expert Carmen Ciciriello.

In what is shaping up to be a veritable who’s who of the eProcurement world, Plymouth’s Andy McMinn, HSIB’s Melanie Ottewill and other industry experts will join the cast of speakers.

Members have told us that a designated eProcurement conference was needed to provide that all important end-to-end clarity. With ample opportunity to table your questions, the event promises to be both engaging and informative.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 18th!