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Procurement

Can Lord Carter’s report be a tipping point for procurement?

HSJ gathered experts to debate what needs to happen next including better strategy, collaboration and understanding the difference between value and cost.

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In June, when Lord Carter published his interim report on NHS productivity (hsj.co.uk/ carter-15), he added to a long history of reviews suggesting the health service can improve its performance on procurement. As far back as 1999, Sir Peter Gershon published a report on central government procurement making clear that “many of the findings of this review have been identified in at least one of the three previous studies on procurement published since 1993”.

Yet five years later, in his more general study of public sector efficiency, Sir Peter was still urging “better supply side management” and “further professionalisation of the procurement function” as a route to significant public sector savings.

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