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P4H Keynote Speaker: Keith Rowley

Wednesday June 10th, 2015

P4HThe debut P4H – Procurement for Health – conference launches on 9 July in Birmingham’s ICC Centre. The event will provide NHS buyers and suppliers with a unique promotional, educational and engagement platform to share best practice.

This knowledge exchange will take place across over 85 exhibition stands, four training zones, 15 hours of tutorials and a keynote arena featuring 26 speakers.

One of these keynote speakers is North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) Managing Director Keith Rowley, who, on behalf of the NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership (NHS CPP – a collaboration with NHS Commercial Solutions, East of England NHS Procurement Collaborative Hub and NHS London Procurement Partnership), will be delivering a seminar about collaborative procurement entitled: Working Together, Minimising Duplication, Delivering Value.

Mr Rowley said: “I have very personal reasons for working with the NHS, as my son has a long-term medical condition which is now stable; and healthcare is something that I am very passionate about.

“In and out of hospitals I have seen fantastic care from different NHS organisations around the UK. For me the challenge facing the NHS is protecting this quality of care amid ever-growing fiscal pressure.”

Tackling this challenge, Mr Rowley joined NOE CPC, a collaborative NHS-owned hub.

“NOE CPC, along with its other NHS CPP partners, formed in 2007, as part of a review into the healthcare procurement landscape. Since its founding we have seen considerable change in the procurement scene and we have striven to keep abreast of this, while consistently delivering savings to help protect frontline care.”

One of the changes Mr Rowley noted was the shift toward NHS buyers focusing on short-term savings.

He said: “I feel there is tremendous pressure to focus on in-year savings, often to the detriment of the longer-term opportunity and the bigger picture, for example looking at total cost of ownership and the cost of the patient pathway.”

Mr Rowley believes these changes have to be driven by the overall education of the sector, something he hopes to contribute toward during his P4H seminar.

He commented: “On behalf of the NHS CPP, I hope to provide insight into how we work with partners and suppliers to mediate across a fragmented procurement landscape and deliver short-term savings while also keeping the bigger picture in mind for better outcomes for patients.”

These better outcomes, he added, have often been gained through collaborative procurement processes.

“Collaborative arrangements encourage buyers and suppliers to come together, learn from each other and influence a different decision-making approach. They encourage a sharing of skills and good practice, which creates innovation across the supply chain.

“Suppliers can also benefit from collaborative procurement through the opportunity to effectively input into the decision-making process while, through vehicles such as frameworks and aggregated procurement, reducing the cost and time involved in sales.”

Time is often of the essence when tendering for NHS contracts, as Mr Rowley explained: “Quite often NHS suppliers don’t pay enough attention to the timeframe of the framework or contract opportunity in which they are interested. Through good qualification suppliers could avoid wasting a lot of their time and effort, when actually the window of opportunity has closed. To avoid this there needs to be better planning and more dialogue between buyers and suppliers.”

Mr Rowley suggests those looking to sell to the NHS should ensure they bid for contracts that best suit their capabilities and budget cash savings into their tender, to show value for public money while helping shape the bigger and longer-term picture.

These tips are just a taste of those Mr Rowley is looking forward to sharing with the P4H audience.

He concluded: “Events like P4H encourage both buyers and suppliers to work together and deliver the best outcomes for the patient. In the past, NHS buyers have viewed their suppliers as having different agendas to them; however, events like this highlight their common goals and the opportunity to work together to bring greater value to the NHS.”

For more information on P4H, and to book a place at the conference, visit P4H website.

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