How An Efficient Supply Chain Can Cut Costs And Improve Efficiency For The Nhs, And Other Businesses
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How An Efficient Supply Chain Can Cut Costs And Improve Efficiency for the Nhs, And Other Businesses

After the various promises made by the Conservatives prior to this year’s General Election, it came as no surprise to learn that NHS trusts have been informed that they should only look to fill essential vacancies. This rather concerning news came after it emerged that the NHS will only receive the £8bn pledged by the Conservative’s if they manage to achieve the £22bn savings detailed in the NHS’ own five-year plan.

The NHS has long been regarded as one of the UK’s greatest achievements and has influenced several health systems around the World. As I am sure you can imagine; the recent uncertainty surrounding our revered healthcare system has caused me a great deal of concern as a father, especially as I hope to be a grandfather one day, and the thought of having to rely on an American-style health system does not exactly fill me with confidence.

While the situation in the US seems to be one of irreconcilable differences with many heavily opposing 'Obama care' which looks towards the more liberal medical care we have here in England. The American system relies on methods of insurance to pay for medical bills, and for those that cannot afford it, its tough. While this is a far cry from our 'free' service over this side, many do not want it to change. We, however, are heavily opposed to anything but the service we pay for through our national health insurance taxes, so why is there such a split?

The current situation with regards to the funding of the NHS is far from ideal as the NHS has seemingly been under threat due to insufficient management and financial delegation since its formation. It has long been acknowledged that there has been a continued trend for an extended period of time for the NHS’ services and that demand for both urgent and emergency care as well as elective activity has continued to increase across all parts of the UK. For many, the NHS is their only lifeline, while some can afford private medical health care above their national insurance, for others this is an unobtainable option that has resulted in an unmanageable amount of pressure on the state service.

However it appears that all hope is not lost if those with the power decide to implement some small, and dare I say necessary, changes in order to save the NHS essential money in both the short-term and long-term. In an ideal world we would not be discussing the prospect of having to cut costs, but unfortunately, this is the situation the country is currently facing and it is imperative that we protect our health service.

Having been tasked with cutting excessive costs for various business ventures myself in the past I have encountered both successful and unsuccessful approaches first hand. In this case with the NHS I would go as far as suggesting that the Government could benefit from looking at optimising their current supply-chain to ensure that the healthcare contract logistics are running in a cost-effective manner.

If you are a business owner; this is also something worth taking into consideration as well. Outsourcing of the supply-chain, especially warehousing and transport, can be mutually beneficial to both parties. This can both be in terms of implanting savings as well as efficiency. More often than not this will usually result in costs being cut due to a dedicated focus upon the service specification, which includes elements such as the frequency and volume of delivery, packaging and handling and, importantly for the NHS, temperature control. This is certainly a consideration which should not be taken lightly as the service provider will usually be a lot more efficient or skilled in performing the required tasks.

To ensure that an outsourcing relationship is guaranteed to succeed; it is essential for both parties to work together to create a healthy and proactive partnership. The customer receives a quality service at a price within their expectations, while the service provider reaches their expected profit margins.


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