People & Skills
Excellence in Public Procurement Awards – a Great Way to Share Innovation and Success (Part 2)

Yesterday we showcased some of the entries from the recent UK GO Awards – those we thought particularly innovative and which we thought would be of interest to our public sector readers. The Excellence in Procurement awards are now in their 15th year and each year the standard of entries gets higher – as we discovered, being involved in the award decision process.

Here are the remaining entries among our selected few, which we believe are worth highlighting regardless of whether they won the award. Please click through to read more on each.

Nexus – Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive – An Excellence in Innovation Case Study

Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, provides a bespoke door-to-door transport service for disabled residents on behalf of five local authorities. With a brand new approach and product, they have created a sustainable, high-quality service while moving risk and cost away from public spending. The product is called Taxicard, and the approach allows contractors to be converted into concessionaires which bid to be part of the scheme and brand, rather than paying companies to provide the service.

The wider taxi market had evolved very quickly in Tyne and Wear over the previous decade. Increased competition and consolidation into large operating companies or collectives meant there was scope for a public body to leverage the situation in a more effective and efficient manner that would achieve savings.This is a pure procurement innovation story showing how a procurement team adapted to the changing structure of a market and its demands.

NHS SSP Wales Procurement Initiative of the Year Award – Saves Money, Improves Patient Outcomes

Procurement Services within The NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership completed an initiative to award a contract for Lymphoedema and Compression products, providing a national formulary for such purchases common to all Health Boards in Wales for the first time. In doing so it has established a centralised purchasing strategy for a specialist group of products across Trusts, which has transformed a mindset of cost/value prioritisation to one of quality.

Purchases for this group of products had been undertaken at department level, with a wide range of suppliers and brands being selected by clinicians often on the basis of prior experience, and pricing varied widely for the same product. Achieving standardisation of care and rationalisation of products required considerable collaboration between all stakeholders in order to arrive at a specification that focused on the quality of products. Through introducing independent product testing the team has succeeded in sending a clear message to suppliers, challenging their quality assurance procedures, saving money and bringing better outcomes for patients.

Scotland Excel – Outstanding Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility Case Study

This initiative is unique in that it is the first of its kind in Scotland to provide a collaborative framework to meet the multi-faceted needs of a council when sourcing and supplying domestic goods for vulnerable community groups. Sourcing furniture, furnishings, white goods and related services for temporary accommodation for the homeless, or supporting people suffering financial hardship can be a complex task for a council with supply and demand being unpredictable and turnaround times fast.

Scotland Excel, Scotland’s centre of procurement expertise for local government, provided a one-stop shop where the council could source all supplies. It collaborated with procurement, finance and housing staff across councils to produce a framework that would suit every customer’s requirements. Extensive stakeholder engagement and collaboration across local councils was central to the framework’s success.

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust — Procurement Initiative in Health and Social Care Organisations

The Chief Procurement Officer was tasked with defining a Trust strategy to limit rising costs. Following internal stakeholder involvement with the Trust Board, clinical colleagues, Finance and Procurement teams, suppliers and key business leaders, a Trust Non Pay Strategy was published identifying six themes for action to limit non pay spend inflation growth. A series of initiatives involving, supply chain transformation, contract governance, and locum agency spend were put into place, among others.

Trust expenditure is apportioned to 11 different non pay work groups, led by a functional expert, which were set up to meet regularly, analyse spend data and agree schedules of work to limit inflation for their apportioned spend. Identifying spend Hot Spots, using LEAN approaches and collaboration were the strategic imperatives employed to reduce supply chain waste and improve efficiency. Procurement set out to demonstrate what good group work could achieve. This is a success story for achieving an overriding aim to place Procurement closer to the centre of the business and broaden non-pay spend responsibility and accountability beyond finance.