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Case Study

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust's inventory management improvement programme

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Key Results

Approximately 7,000 lines consumed could instead be automatically ordered

More than £1 million worth of savings achieved through the programme

The problem

One of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s key principles is to run as efficiently as possible, at a cost of ten per cent less than the average hospital in England.

However, they realised that there were areas where they could be operating with greater efficiency – inventory management being one of them.

The trust’s then current system was largely reliant on manual processes. There was no reliable automated system in place and inaccurate data collection caused much of the problem.

Inventory was often duplicated across multiple storage locations causing unnecessary product wastage due to over-stocking, and without any effective track and trace processes in place, product recalls often took 48 hours to complete when required.

The solution

In 2014, the trust procurement team began work on an inventory management improvement programme (IMIP) and selected Ingenica Solutions’ 360 as their solution.

They developed a three phase implementation programme which began in their high value departments such as head and neck theatres.

Ingenica’s 360 solution was fully integrated into existing systems and linked into the trust-wide product catalogue Oracle.

Inventory consumption could then be monitored in real-time and products could be traced throughout the supply chain, improving traceability and stock visibility.

"We now know what we need, not what the supplier thinks we need. The results we have achieved so far have made a huge difference to clinical staff, as well as wider trust teams and we look forward to sharing our learnings with other trusts in the same position."

Monika Nott (IMIP project lead)

The results

The number of procurement transactions were reduced, saving a valuable 10.3 hours of time per week of staff time – an annual productivity saving of £5,200.

Approximately 7,000 lines consumed could be automatically ordered via Oracle which meant that 99.6 per cent of required product was available to clinicians when needed.

With the new process, the time taken to process product recalls was reduced from on average 48 hours to just two minutes to locate the product and a further 30 minutes to quarantine the item.

Since starting the project in 2014, the trust has proudly achieved a dramatic total project saving of £1 million to date, by reducing stock in live sites by 34 per cent as well as saved more than 30 hours a week of clinical staff time.

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