Rob Knott and Beth Loudon – Interesting Reading on Procurement, Hospitals and Prisons,

We don’t claim to have the monopoly on good articles and ideas and are therefore always happy to point our readers at other publications and content if we think it will be useful – unlike what we believe of some other publications in our sector (no names mentioned*). So today, two fairly short but very worthwhile reads for you.

Rob Knott will be known to many, he's now at software firm Virtualstock but previously a CPO in private and public sectors.  In his latest blog on the HCSA (healthcare supplies association) website, he writes about the work of the procurement team at UHL.

“When Ben Shaw joined University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) in 2015 as Head of Procurement from a FTSE 100 company, he immediately initiated a strategic performance review of the Trust’s Procurement and Supply Management function to help drive operational productivity and define the ‘measures that matter’. In 2015, as one of the largest teaching hospitals in the NHS employing over 12,000 staff, UHL managed an annual spend of £440m across 5,000 suppliers.

Ben outlined his vision for the function as part of a published Procurement Strategy – formally signed-off by the Trust Board – detailing the key developments and improvements that would be delivered over the following three years”.

It’s a very inspirational story. Shaw, who appears to have been recently promoted to Director of Efficiency of the Trust, has led a very successful transformation, and Rob explains how the team have gone about that programme. Shaw brought some techniques in from the automotive sector, and there is a stronger focus on measures and scorecards than in most Trusts (or indeed other public sector organisations), but his basic approach has been all about actions that most readers would expect.

That suggests - not for the first time when we look at a successful transformation - that it is at least as much about execution as it is about “vision”. Well done to the team at Leicester anyway, and do read Rob’s full story here.

Then we have Beth Loudon, who works inside the NHS, as Head of Procurement Development and Sourcing at NHS Shared Business Services. But her article on LinkedIn is not health related – rather, it is about the recent CIPS Fellows event, which sounds fascinating. No, not another wine tasting or dinner, but a visit to a prison – HMP Berwyn in Wrexham.

“We spent the evening touring the enormous site and learning about the specific challenges for providing health services, catering, education services and general facilities in such a complex environment and some of the innovative ways they are addressing these”.

Beth is very honest about her feelings during the visit, and says it has actually made her question some long-held beliefs, and made her realise that she should always try and create a culture where people feel they can “challenge the norm”.

She was also impressed with the Governor of this prison, Russ Trent, who was also the man who was the Programme Director from the beginning of the new-build construction – as she says, “rare that the same person who builds something then goes on to run it”.

He sounds very impressive – “An inspirational man with a very clear vision and set of values ...  He was also very clear that he recruits his prison officers predominately on values – people can learn new skills but you can’t teach someone to be authentic, fair, honest and passionate”. That has a message for all of us who are involved in recruiting and managing staff.

So another worthwhile quick read for you – see Beth’s article here. And do take a look at the upcoming CIPS Fellows events – a varied and interesting list as always from Shirley Cooper and the hard-working committee, and including the Christmas dinner!

*Supply Management

First Voice

  1. Dave Coley:

    Great articles from Beth and Rob, thanks very much.

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