HCSA News: Conferences, Charity and Procurement Improvement

The HCSA (Health Care Supply Association), which represents procurement professionals in the health sector, has developed strongly in recent years, with a series of chairs who have been real leaders in the sector – and have had both personal charisma as well as credibility and experience. The organisation is up to over 2000 members now, and Alan Hoskins will take over from Helen Lisle as Chair shortly with the organisation in good health.

The conferences for this year have been announced recently; the summer event will be held at St John's Hotel, Solihull on Tuesday, 20 June, and the big annual event is 29th & 30th November in the Harrogate International Centre. That’s in the lovely Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, not surprisingly; we’re hoping to be there for some of that event at least.

One sign of the growing confidence of HCSA has been their willingness to be a bit outspoken at times – hence the public intervention into the NHS Supply Chain debate here. We’d like to see more of that – goodness knows, there is enough nonsense talked about procurement in the NHS, it is always good to hear from people who really understand what is going on, the issues and opportunities. We’re not quite as up to date as we should be with progress on the massive contract for the replacement NHS Supply Chain contract; but we hope appropriate and knowledgeable stakeholders are having some input to the programme now.

Anyway, back to the HCSA. The organisation announced recently that its application to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) had been approved by the Charity Commission. “In becoming a CIO, HCSA will have legal status and better placed to engage with commercial and other organisations in delivering its events and other learning and development opportunities”. A team of six eminent trustees has been appointed, including our old friend Professor Duncan Eaton.

Finally, HCSA and Cook Medical are currently seeking volunteers from among NHS procurement professionals and healthcare suppliers who are interested in working together on a set of supply chain  priorities agreed at the last conference. The overall purpose of this initiative is to work together to lower the cost of doing business, ultimately reducing the cost of healthcare. “Our hope is to create procurement best practices and share our learnings at the 2017 HCSA meeting” says HCSA.

Sounds worthwhile; if you are interested in getting involved, contact HCSA at volunteer@nhsprocurement.org.uk or Cook Medical via Twitter @CookHealthBiz


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