The power of procurement: a profession that offers opportunity to make a positive difference.
Did you know that NSS National Procurement is the only Scottish public sector organisation to have a National Distribution Centre? The centre and supply chain serves nearly 300 hospitals throughout Scotland ensuring that the millions of patients who visit Scotland’s hospitals every year, have access to the large range of equipment and services required to support their care.
In procurement terms, there can be no greater purpose, in my eyes, than to support the needs of patient care. Whilst an incredibly worthwhile cause, when you peel back what procurement is seen to be, it is easy to think (or be misled to think) that procurement simply is about buying something - there to ensure that our hospitals and patients have what they need when they need it, and that what we buy is safe, legal and provides the best value.
However the truth is that procurement is so much more. As a profession it can be very powerful in making a significant difference for the businesses and suppliers who win the contracts. It is also a profession in which we can actively work to encourage and support the growth of small businesses, as well as businesses that support local communities.
It also plays an active role working to build the right partnerships that can really innovate to deliver for the needs of tomorrow as well as push for better sustainability today.
It’s these kinds of opportunities that we are working to drive forward in NHSS National Procurement. In or out of hospital, procurement has an incredible potential to make a difference through thinking innovatively, sustainably, and compassionately.
We are working across the sector with partners who share the ideas and appetite to help us make an even greater difference in the part we play in healthcare. Our annual Procurement 4 Health conference works to promote such ideas and allows us quality time to get together with stakeholders and other industry experts to really start thinking about the wider differences that can be made through purchasing – therefore showing that we don’t only have the ability to purchase the goods for patients, but work together to help improve the patient care experience. To not simply purchase from a business who can supply product, but one that thinks and operates to the best sustainable standards. To encourage and inspire more and more suppliers to expand their own networks to look at what communities throughout Scotland can offer, in terms of product supply – giving back to the local economy and creating more job opportunities here in Scotland.
It’s incredibly rewarding to do a job that has so much potential to give back and having this mindset of ‘giving back’ offers procurement and its suppliers in any sector so much opportunity to really make a big difference for patients, for Scotland and for tomorrow.
Strategic Sourcing Director, National Procurement
NHSS National Services Scotland