Rupinder Mangat, Head of Procurement Operations since 2016, described how preferred use of Biogel surgical gloves enabled him to provide theatre staff with a high-quality product while achieving significant cost savings.
Pressure on procurement is constantly rising
There has always been pressure on revenue savings in the National Health Service. However, the recent Carter report, purchase price index and benchmarking (PPIB), and increased transparency have led to a strong focus on route to market, standardisation, compliance of contracts, accurate pricing data, and reduction in suppliers. This has resulted in greater visibility for procurement than before: trusts are expected to meet national standards for procurement, and are ranked nationally on this basis. In the past year, St George’s has moved up the ranking from 50 to 33. However, there is still a lot more work to be done to achieve the desired standards.
Rationalisation of suppliers awarded surgical gloves contract to Mölnlycke
St George’s awarded Mölnlycke a contract as preferred supplier for surgical gloves in September 2017.
The decision to use Biogel was made following a thorough analysis of the current situation, and based on the need for a quality glove that theatre staff would be happy to use, from a reliable supplier who provides good contract compliance and cost savings.
Previously, several different suppliers were used with no standardisation among the surgical specialities. A two-tiered system existed whereby Biogel latex gloves could be worn only by surgeons, with the scrub staff using whatever latex-free gloves were available, resulting in poor compliance in many of the theatres.
Some departments at St George’s, such as trauma, are mainly using one supplier and showing significant cost savings. The Trust is also looking at standardisation for other products, such as sutures.
‘Quality is also big for surgical gloves because of what they do and what they are. If you don’t have surgical gloves, you can’t do the procedure; it’s assimple as that.’