Six insights from Simon Walsh
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
How do you build a top performing public procurement team?
In B Magazine, procurement leader Simon Walsh spoke to Banner about his 29 year NHS career to date - and the key factors in getting results
Head of a 60-strong procurement team, Simon Walsh has helped the Trust move from the worst performing NHS procurement department in the country to one of the best
He now looks after a Â£1 billion budget, 13,500 people and the purchase of one million items every year
So what does it take to achieve effective procurement?
Some years ago the team took out paper and moved to a fully electronic system
Gone were the days of processing paper requisitions, orders in envelopes and staff placing paper orders
Simon has roles in several external procurement and national working groups
He has regular meetings with NHS Supply Chain and the Department of Healthâ¦
â¦and is involved with the Lord Carter initiative, aimed at saving the NHS Â£5 million
âItâs important that the head of procurement sets the standards, is a role model and reports directly to the board.
âA leader needs to have a direct connection with the decision makers and the authority to influence change.â
"All members of a procurement team should know who the procurement director is, even if they donât speak on a regular basis.
âThey need to know that ultimately, they can approach them about an issue or for advice."
âA procurement director needs to be an inspirational figure while also having the ability to relate to and communicate with all members of staff.
âThey should remain accessible, but retain appropriate recognition of being in a leadership role.â
An even more cohesive procurement system will be critical to the NHS in years to come:
"While good work is already being done, there is a need for clear leadership and direction. This can only come from bodies that have a national footprint and a national mandate.â
âNHS procurement is not a single structure organisation and this amplifies the need for leadership. Ultimately one person does not purchase one item for the entire NHS.â
To read more and find out which two initiatives Simon believes will set the scene for NHS leadership in the future, read the full interview in B Magazine
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