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Smarter purchasing 'could save £1.2bn for NHS'
The NHS should reconsider its logistics and procurement operation to save money that it could profitably reinvest in patient care, according to a new report.
Health minister Simon Burns urged the health service to raise its game when purchasing goods such as sutures and gloves over the next few years, positing that this could save up to £1.2 billion in wasted spending.
Efficient procurement procedures have traditionally been something of a problem for the organisation because its fragmented nature makes it difficult for local hospitals to communicate with each other about their equipment needs.
"We will be working closely with hospital trusts over the next six months to help them save even more money that can be reinvested in patient care," said Mr Burns.
The NHS Supply Chain and the Department of Health have already established a £300 million fund for the bulk-buying of big equipment such as MRI scanners.
According to a previous report from the National Audit Office, some ten per cent of hospital spending on consumables - £500 million a year - could be saved if trusts worked together more closely.
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