A “procurement champion” with experience in the private sector will be appointed by the NHS to help it get value for money from its suppliers, the Government has said.
The NHS in England will also benefit from a new price comparison website that will allow health officials to see what different trusts are paying for supplies and services.
The Health minister Dr Dan Poulter also said he would cut the £2.4bn budget for temporary staff by a quarter, as the NHS continues to reduce costs to manage a slow-down in government funding.
A new committee, headed by Dr Poulter, will be dedicated to driving down the NHS’s £18bn procurement bill.
The health service is facing a £30bn funding gap by 2020. Last week, Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, said that an “in-built mindset” that better quality costs more would have to change if the health service were to survive in its current form.
“We must end the scandalous situation where one hospital spends hundreds of thousands more than another hospital just down the road on something as simple as rubber gloves or syringes, simply because they haven’t got the right systems in place to ensure value for money for local patients,” Dr Poulter said.