UCL Procurement Partners – HSJ Reports Investigation into Operation

The Health Service Journal reported last week that an investigation has started into the activities of an NHS procurement collaborative organisation that covers five hospitals in London.

"An investigation has been launched into what is thought to be England’s largest provider procurement consortium, HSJ can reveal. The trust hosting UCL Partners Procurement Service confirmed yesterday a probe was ongoing into “a number of issues” at the organisation".

UCL Partners Procurement Service (PPS) is an NHS shared service, hosted by Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, providing professional procurement services to five trusts, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Moorfields Eye Hospital, North Middlesex University Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Whittington Hospital NHS Trust.

Alan Farnsworth is the Director of PPS, and here you can see the list of the key people working for the organisation - it looks like it has adopted a model where each hospital and their procurement executive leads on a certain category for the consortium. There is also "special projects", run by Lucy Hutchins.

So we did a bit of web-stalking of the people involved and came up with a couple of interesting points – this is all absolutely public domain material and please note we are not making any suggestions or allegations here!

Hutchins’ entry on LinkedIn lists her as “Principal Consultant” at Twinn Consulting, so we can assume she is at PPS as a contractor / interim. LinkedIn also says she is currently Head of Benefits, Plans & Projects at UCL Partners Procurement Service. Her responsibilities include; “Programme manager for UCLP PS Trusts benefit programmes and setting up of a Benefits Delivery Team to deliver further financial savings”.

She is also “Responsible for setting up a new venture - a Benefits Delivery Team - to identify and deliver cost savings for the Member Trusts via extensive data through a systematic approach and extensive engagement with clinical stakeholders”.

From Facebook, we can see that the “Twinn” consulting name may come from her maiden name as she is “Lucy Hutchins (Lucy Twinn)” on that website. Or the other way round, if you see what we mean.

Now Google Lucy Twinn, and some “company check” type websites pop up, which tell us that a Lucy Victoria Twinn is a Director of Procurement Benefits Limited, which was formed on 23/10/2013. The firm submitted its first set of short form accounts very promptly this year, showing assets of some £65K as of April 2015. The other Directors of that firm along with Lucy Twinn were Alan David Farnsworth, Sadhna Kothari-Mehta, and Shahzad Rehman; but it looks like the company has now been dissolved.

Now none of this might be connected to the investigation in any way. But if nothing else, it shows how much you can find out these days with just a few clicks of the mouse!

Voices (5)

  1. Alan:

    What about the one who got suspended but was the only one to be reinstated? What did the investigation find and did it include her multiple counts of nepotism?

    1. Bill Atthetill:

      This is new news. Who was reinstated and what nepotism?

      1. Peter Smith:

        We may not be able to print any response I should warn you given the laws of libel etc! Any information can be sent to me privately at psmith (at) spendmatters.com however

      2. Alan:

        The article talks about researching names, so for starters, use the same methodology to search the surnames listed and compare to their staff list.

  2. John:

    Looking forward to reading more on this matter. Considering the financial position of the hosting trust and as the correct utilisation of public funds are possibly in discussion, we look forward to hearing more on this matter

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