Down the Procurement Pub with CIPS, NHS, Bloom and Grace VanderWaal

It can’t be November already, that’s ridiculous. Oh well, a fairly quiet week after much dashing around recently, so time to get a top secret briefing on NHS procurement from one of my industry sources. That should help me as I prepare for my speech at the HCSA conference in Harrogate at the end of the month.


November 1st is when the new CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) President traditionally takes up their position. But this year, we waited for an announcement and … tumbleweed. We have now established (we think) that Sam Walsh, current President, is continuing for a second year in office. He is the first President as far as we know to serve for more than a year in that role, so quite a significant event. It would therefore have been nice to have had some announcement and explanation from CIPS HQ at Easton. But hey, we’re only the members of the Institute who pay £200 a year each for the privilege, what do we matter?


I’m speaking in less than two weeks’ time on November 16th at the Bloom Procurement London customer event at County Hall on the South Bank. Bloom operates the NEPO Specialist Professional Services neutral vendor solution, which gives all public sector bodies a very effective and legally compliant route to buy management consulting and related services. The firm is developing deep expertise in the consulting market too, and they’ve even read my book …! I’m going to be talking about “procurement as a force for change” which is a great topic actually – it wasn’t my idea so I can say that.  So if you are in the public sector and have an interest in buying consulting better, or even if you are in the private sector and would like to know more about a model that could actually work for you too, get in touch here and bag yourself one of the last free places.


NHS fraud is supposedly costing over £1 billion a year with procurement the second biggest contributor to that total with over £200 million, according to the new NHS Counter Fraud Authority. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any evidence or supporting documentation beyond this claim, so the cynic in me might report it like this; ”new CEO whose job and the resources she gets to do it are dependent on people thinking she’s addressing a HUGE problem makes claim that she’s addressing a HUGE problem”.  The other interesting snippet in the report was that last year “investigators successfully pursued cases worth £9.6m”. So if fraud really is a billion, then less than 1% was addressed by this organisation (or its predecessor), which if I'm being harsh is pretty pathetic really.


You know we like to bring you the latest big things in music before they’re big things – we’ve recommended acts like Lady Gaga, Wolf Alice, the 1975 and Catfish & the Bottlemen long before they hit the top. Well, today we have a young woman, Grace VanderWaal, who won’t be unknown to most readers in the US, having won America’s Got Talent last year, but she is not yet a household name in Europe. That will change though, believe me. Her first album is out soon and she has written all the songs herself apparently, and this is a great pop song, by anybody’s standard. One more thing - we’re not going to mention her age. Look it up and prepare to go “whattttt”!

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Voices (3)

  1. robert l aaron:

    Great article on Grace, you have picked another winner

  2. Mark Lainchbury:

    Should read

    NHS p̶r̶o̶c̶u̶r̶e̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ fraud is supposedly costing over £1 billion a year with procurement the second biggest contributor to that total with over £200 million


    1. Peter Smith:

      thanks Mark, corrected now! Glad someone is on the ball …

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