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It won’t be a surprise to members that there is always a lot of work ongoing within the NHS and much of it is in silos, until now industry hasn’t always been able to see the impact of strategies or initiatives, nor much alignment across these silos and therefore there is often duplication of effort and many missed opportunities. Adoption of Innovation also suffers with large contracts let independently and that are not bespoke enough to accommodate low volume, niche or disruptive technologies.

This is recognised across the system and a significant amount of work is ongoing to provide a much more centralised service to professionalise the system and to demonstrate measurables throughout the end of 2022 and into 2023 and beyond.

By NHS England co-creating the new model with input from a diverse and strong team of experts; the Procurement Target Operating Model has begun to evolve swiftly into the Central Commercial Function (CCF) headed up by Jacqui Rock FCIPS as Chief Commercial Officer.

The scope of the CCF includes commercial processes and supply chain management processes and data which will be used to shape the market to identify and leverage collaborative procurement opportunities and to minimise variation where it is un-necessary.

There will be an overall strategy and then further category strategies with a specific focus on how to support the ICS networks with their objectives. At BIVDA we are engaging with the commercial and Pathology Transformation teams at NHS England and look forward to continuing with the collaboration across the ICS network.

Procurement teams across the ICS’s will have significant influence rather than outright power, as they are no longer working within organisational boundaries. It is very much a cross functional service.

As suppliers, members will need to understand what drives people and ensure that patients are really put at the centre of all procurement and service decisions, this also goes for procurement teams working cross functionally. Supplier Engagement is being heavily resourced, and we should be able to experience genuine engagement at all levels, rather than our seemingly tick box engagement that we have had. This will undoubtably require a re-set in some areas to be able to engage properly and adjust ourselves to the new requirements that we should expect. BIVDA will be supporting members through training and workshops within our Procurement working party and workshops.

Procurement’s role in the ICS’s is to specifically align stakeholders and this should include suppliers and procurement teams are expected to encourage them to see each other’s perspectives, this is expected to pave the way for better value-based procurement benefits as purchasing decisions will be looked at across the patient pathways more than we have seen before.

ICS’s are expected to deliver strategies to address health inequalities and this collaboration is being enabled, which is a significant change from the past 10 years.

Procurement in ICS’s have 3 main challenges.

  1. Improving efficiency and reducing costs.
  2. Supply Chain resilience.
  3. Sustainability.

The new procurement regulations coming in during 2023 will heavily focus on sustainability, transformation and digitisation so the landscape is ready to facilitate a change. For any questions, or thoughts on this summary please contact


Ben Kemp