NHS should take inspiration from Bargain Hunt when buying supplies, minister says – Telegraph

English: Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Ca...

English: Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a truly amazing headline from the Telegraph. It’s a MUST READ article in my view. Check it out!

via NHS should take inspiration from Bargain Hunt when buying supplies, minister says – Telegraph.

Comparing UK NHS procurement to the antiques program, Bargain Hunt, is a cheap political tactic to report some positive news about the NHS.

One reason that NHS managers do not know much about prices is because much of the NHS procurement has been outsourced, in line with Government policy.

Public Sector procurement is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office and for years they have been issuing ineffective and conflicting guidelines, which do not necessarily follow best practice in the Private Sector. Also EU regulations are responsible for excessive bureaucracy in Public Sector procurement.

Let’s be clear ineffective NHS procurement has been caused by meddling politicians and the bungling bureaucrats at the NHS and, of course, the Cabinet Office.

Any thoughts?

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Business-style agency to run £12bn of government procurement – FT.com

English: Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Ca...

English: Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an important, MUST READ, story from the FT.

Business-style agency to run £12bn of government procurement – FT.com.

For a long time, the Cabinet Office has had responsibility for Government procurement, yet time and time again, the Government has been told that procurement practices are very weak compared to the Private Sector or indeed best practice in other countries.

Against this background, despite austerity, the Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, had to call in the top-end, very expensive, consulting firm McKinsey to tell him that centralized procurement is best practice.

Once again, we are seeing the Government defining policy on the hoof, without a clear analysis of strategy and risk.

Some obvious open questions that come to mind include, what about:

  • Local authorities, the police, ambulance services and other public sector procurement?
  • Standardization of business processes, systems and technology?
  • Standardization of shared service centers?
  • Outsourcing all non-policy activities, including off-shoring where no national security risks?

Any thoughts?

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