NHS team in Scotland commended for their innovative e-procurement work

Posted by Pete Loughlin in e-Procurement 11 Mar 2016

At least twice a year, someone somewhere launches a new idea that they call e-procurement. I launched one in the mid 1990s and if the truth be known it wasn’t that new then. It’s difficult, after 20 years immersed in the world of P2P to see anything that is truly innovative in this field any more but I did see something a few months ago when I visited Elcom’s user conference in Scotland.

Site LogoI’ve written about it before and I make no apologies for writing about it again because the NHS team in Glasgow Scotland have now been given national recognition for their support of sick children and their families using Elcom’s e-procurement offering.

There isn’t an obvious connection between e-procurement and the care for needy kids but if you understand the tragic dilemma that parents looking after children with complex medical needs at home face, you can begin see where e-procurement fits in. What does a Mum or Dad do if their child’s medical equipment breaks at home? How do you get hold of replacement parts out of hours? These aren’t things that the local store offers. And ask the professional health carers and the reality is that they don’t know how to source these things either. Often enough, specialist home equipment won’t even be stored in the local hospital stores so this problem can become a distracting nightmare that occupies carers’ time when they’d prefer to be caring for their loved ones.

Enter Elcom. Working with the NHS, Elcom have put simple electronic catalogues in the hands of parents. Designed especially for their own unique needs, they allow parents to order specialist parts at the click of a button on a smart phone, tablet or PC at home. And now the team who put this together were highly commended at the GO Awards in the UK.

The National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2016/17 were held in Manchester earlier this week and the NHS team were commended in the Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year – Social Care category.

What I really like about this is the simplicity – a catalogue with perhaps no more than a dozen items in it. And most e-procurement applications can’t do this. Imagine trying to get an iProc or Ariba licences for home use. Yet it makes such an important difference. Parents of very sick children have a pitifully small amount of time to spend with them and anything that can be done to make sure that time is spent caring for them, playing with them – just being a Mum or a Dad for them – has got to be a good thing.

I’d like to add my personal congratulations to the Glasgow NHS team. You can Watch the video to see the interview I did with Lynn Peterson last year here:

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

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