Down the Procurement Pub with SAFC, NHS Procurement, Proxima and Courtney Barnett

Here are some of the Sunderland football team visiting the University Hospital of North Durham eearlier this week (I was visiting my father) to say hello to sick kids - just so you know footballers aren't all bad! And no, I didn't have a beer with them and yes, the lack of a pub ytype picture is because I forgot to take any pictures of my various drinking exploits this week, except for the BravoSolution dinner mentioned in an earlier post today ...

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The former "head of leadership" (now there's an ironic title) for NHS England is is facing jail after admitting his part in a multimillion pound fraud. Neil Wood is one of a number of people convicted of unlawfully taking money from NHS England and Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust over a number of years. It revolves around payments made by the public bodies for training videos featuring his wife (the mind boggles), and apparently over £3 million was obtained in that manner. This raises various interesting questions, as usual in the case of fraud, not least about procurement processes ... we may come back to this and have a bit of a rant about it next week, or when he gets sentenced!

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Proxima, the leading procurement outsourcing firm, has announced an "On-Demand procurement service". It is apparently powered by Catalytics® - we haven't quite got our heads around just what this is yet, but we will! Clients will get "a ready-made team with access to market leading category expertise and IP, technology, best-practice templates and tools - all supported by a global delivery infrastructure". The blurring of the edges between consulting, outsourcing and software continues, a trend we've been noting for some time now. And we will talk to Proxima soon to understand better what they're up to.

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We will continue writing pretty much as normal next week up until Christmas Eve, but between Christmas and New Year we will have our music round-up (see below), some "best of 2015" posts and anything really important that happens in the news with relevance to procurement. Then back in full swing January 5th...

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On my recent long drives to and from Durham to visit my sick Father, I've been listening again to my favourite albums of the year ready for our "best of 2015" list. I think that will be published between Christmas and New Year, don't think we will get it done before the 25th. One of the contenders for a high placing is Australian poet / singer / songwriter Courtney Barnett, and this track may well be my single favourite track of the year. Lyrics that cover gentrification, property prices, suburban boredom, love and death all in one track are rare, and she is such a brilliant lyricist. I find a lump in my throat at one point in this song and "if you've got a spare half a million, you could knock it down and start rebuilding", is one of those lines that sounds obvious but takes genius to write perfectly. Notice how she pronounces "a" differently the two times she sings it in that line ... It would not work otherwise.

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