Reason for the establishment of National Health Service System Supply
Inferring from PPPP, before the establishment of the NHS Supply agency, there existed several problems in the purchasing process in the National Health Service, As a way to combat these problems, the purchasing and supplies chain was established. Before then, there was a mixed of arrangement of purchases and supplies activities throughout the NHS. More than ten different determined this mixed pattern of purchase regional health authorizes. Though some of them had a well developed purchasing and supplies management, many of them had none at all. Because of these complications, there was a lot of criticism of the NHS procurement department at that time.
The highest criticism was received from the National Audit Office report, which questioned the procedures of buying products in NHS. At that time, there were believed to be more than 100,000 ordering points in trust for making orders. Others were health authorities and directly and other directly managed units, all of which were making orders from the upstream supply market. According to Weiner, (2012), it was not precisely known how many suppliers the National Health Service was dealing with at any particular time. It was estimated from the various data files, purchases ledgers and reports from the health department that there were more than 45,000 suppliers, both individual, and firms who were contracting with NHS.
There existed a non-procedural and non-credited purchasing procedure. For instance, an item could be ordered rom a supplier by the by a nurse, using a hand written purchasing order. On the other hand, staff in the purchasing and supplies department could have ordered other items or the same item. There was no consistent procurement procedure in all national hospital For instance, some hospitals, there was a reasonable budgetary control while in other hospitals, no budgetary control that existed at all. There was occasional complains by the suppliers manager that the clinicians used to place orders by telephone, instead of following the right procedure. Therefore, in most of the cases, they had the goods and services ordered delivered to them. Then they could send the invoices for the ordered product to the accounting department for payment, having authorized the purchase from their own budget.
Above, there were more than 20 different information system all over the NHS, which was used in purchases and procurement services. However, there was a national coding system, its use and interpretation was significantly varied across the region. Therefore, there was no common coding applied throughout the region for services and suppliers. There was an enormous purchasing services variance, across the entire portfolio of spending.
For some parts of the portfolio, there was a there was some level of autonomous for the pharmacist and pharmaceuticals in their process of ordering, storing and distribution of drugs, and managed to gather their role from the supplies staff. Though some specialists shared some information cross the country, and had some coordinated spending, other specialists acted independently and separately, and did not share their information with any other similar organizations with a similar pattern of spending. Further, it was clear that there was varying capabilities and competences among the NHS sites to certify that the purchasing activities complied with the European Union regulations with regard to the public procurement procedure.
As a result, to this wide criticism, the National Audit Office, Parliamentary Accounting Committee and the management of the NHS contributed their efforts and made a decision to establish a single and national body within the NHS that could carry out the whole process of procurement. The body created is then NHS Supply, which was aimed to remedy the problems of inconsistency, varying standards and facilities. According to Tucker, (2004) the National Health Service was formed as a Special Health Authority, in early 1990s.