Lord Carter visits Pioneering Procurement Cluster

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT) was honored to welcome Lord Carter of Coles to the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital site this week.

 Eminent health reform expert Lord Carter visited three Lancashire hospitals in support of his work in reviewing operational productivity and performance in NHS acute hospitals across England.

ELHTis working together with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust andLancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to create a joint procurement service, which allows all three trusts to work more efficiently and more productively.

Jonathan Wood, Director of Finance at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Collaboration is one of the key recommendations for procurement from ‘The Carter Review’ and we have made great progress in achieving this. 

“Procurement touches every part of the Trust’s operations but it isn’t just about cost cutting; it’s about how better procurement can improve outcomes and reduce unnecessary variation in how we do things.”

“We now have the platform to take procurement and supply chain management forwards across the partner organisations to create a true center of excellence”.

Lord Carter said: “I’m very impressed by the way clinicians have worked with other members of staff to find truly innovative solutions to procurement and materials management. It’s an example to us all and we’re going to be working nationally to share that experience.”

During his visit, Lord Carter also visited Ward C6 to find out more about the Dedicated Ward Pharmacy service, a highly successful innovation by the ELHT Pharmacy directorate.

Since 2015, Dedicated Ward Pharmacy has seen pharmacists dedicated to a single ward, rather than covering many, with enhanced support from pharmacy technicians. The pharmacist accompanies consultants on their ward rounds to ensure the most effective choice of medicines for each patient a pharmacy technician completes the medicines section of discharge letters which saves doctors time.

Neil Fletcher, Director of Pharmacy at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Lord Carter was impressed to learn that Dedicated Ward Pharmacy service has improved communication between pharmacy and the wards, which has led to better use of medicines, a reduction in re-admissions and shorter lengths of hospital stay for our patients.”