Operational Efficiency

Mapping supply chain and inventory practices at UK Children's Hospital

Situation & challenges

Given the recommendation of the Lord Carter review for each NHS Trust to implement an inventory management software solution, Ayming were invited by our client's newly appointed Head of Procurement and Supply Services and CFO to prepare an approach to map the current supply chain and inventory practices in place within the Trust. 

Ayming’s proposed approach to the project was a two-stage diagnostic, initially aimed at understanding the status quo (“as-is”) and then providing our client with recommendations and actions to move forward in both the short and longer term. This approach was refined during a workshop with key internal stakeholders during which the deliverables, timeline (including key review sessions), project stakeholders and the contract were agreed. 

What we did

The initial stage of the as-is review consisted of a number of stakeholder interviews (25+) and shadowing sessions to understand the current workings of the supply chain and inventory process from both a materials management and clinical point-of-view. Initial findings from the sessions were further probed and validated with data analysis in parallel to understand the full picture of our client's supply chain. 

The findings were used to develop an end-to-end process map of the two supply chains that existed within the hospital (based on the system with which orders were placed), supplemented with a detailed report containing supporting data analysis and key findings. A comprehensive risk register was also included as part of the “as-is” review. The findings of the review were presented to the project steering committee (CFO led) who requested it also be shared with the Trust's Divisional Heads.

And How We Helped...

Based on the key findings from the “as-is” phase of the project a set of short-term “quick win” and longer term recommendations for our client's supply chain operations were developed. These took into consideration other planned projects within the Trust (e.g. implementation of EPR system) and included:

  • The designation of one individual/ function as responsible for the end-to-end supply chain (systems, storage, personnel)
  • The introduction of standard top-up processes for stock items irrespective of which system they are ordered through
  • An increase in consultation and communication when changes occur to the supply chain
  • A refresh of the procurement catalogue

The longer term recommendations were presented to the steering committee at the pre-determined review meeting and were well received; the CFO instructed the steering committee to begin the implementation of a number of the recommendations immediately. Subsequently, our client has requested Ayming to prepare a proposal for additional support in implementing the recommendations through a pilot programme. 

About Our Client

Our client is one of the preeminent children’s hospitals in the UK and treats in excess of 250,000 patients each year.