NHS: Procurement

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) performance of the procurement process in the NHS and (b) susceptibility of that process to procurement fraud.

Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with the NHS to tackle the cost of fraud to the NHS.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

To tackle the cost of fraud to the National Health Service, the Department has published and is implementing a counter-fraud strategic plan for the healthcare sector covering 2017-20. The plan includes:

- Establishing the NHS Counter Fraud Authority;

- Developing a coherent intelligence-led approach to enable the identification, prioritisation and management of fraud risk;

- Collaborative working to deliver a comprehensive programme of fraud prevention, deterrence and enforcement activities and loss recovery in the highest risk areas; and

- Strengthening counter-fraud capability with an increased emphasis on permanently preventing future losses.

As highlighted in the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS Improvement is supporting the NHS to deliver the opportunities for improvement in procurement, including efficiency savings by aggregation of volumes and standardising specifications. A new centralised NHS procurement organisation, Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL), has been introduced to help use this purchasing power on a national scale to get the best deals and deliver high quality affordable care for patients. By 2022, we will double the volume of products bought through SCCL to 80%, extend the number of nationally contracted products and consolidate the way local and regional procurement teams operate.

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