Logo: NHS East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub
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Data at the Hub
06 March 2019

Data underpins every project that we do for our members at the Hub. The in-depth data analysis from our Enablement team, combined with expert category management from our procurement team, ensures Trusts get maximum benefit from their membership.

A lack of quality has been an NHS wide problem for some time, but centrally-led initiatives such as eCataloguing and the eProcurement strategy are helping to bring about change, and we are seeing positive buy-in from our members.

In the past we have had limited resources available to capture, cleanse and analyse the range of NHS data sets available.  However, with additional members of the team and access to a wider range of tools and data sets, such as PPIB, we are able to invest more time in analysing what the information is telling us, and spend less time cleansing and classifying.   

There is still some progress to be made, but these changes have enabled us to make significant improvements to our category information over the past six months.

We utilise a range of NHS data sets:

Our category managers utilise PPIB to identify opportunities for savings based on purchase order data. We also offer PPIB training to member trusts, so their internal procurement teams are better able to utilise the tool and can create bespoke trust-specific reports and analysis when required.

Procurement Dashboard 
The Procurement Dashboard covers all trust spend ​including catalogue and contract information and gives us a much more detailed view than PPIB provides. As this data set is not currently mandated, not all of our members have opted to adopt it. ​We are working with AdviseInc to evidence the savings benefits this system can bring and hope to find more members signing up in the future based on a significant ROI.

ePACT and Pharmex 
EPACT and Pharmex are the two main data sets used within the Pharmacy supply chain. Pharmex presents pharmacy departments’ purchase data, and ePACT covers all spend through prescription. We now have a more detailed level of data than anywhere else in the region. However, we need to invest a little more time to map products across these data sets and NHS Supply Chain to build a bigger picture, which will be fundamental in informing our Integrated Care workplan.

MyAlliance is an in-house system we designed to capture framework activity. This helps us to monitor current spend and supplier behaviour across frameworks and to capture this information within one system.  Suppliers upload their returns via a web portal which automatically sense-checks the information they are providing. 

​Although currently rolling out on a project-by-project basis, our Category Managers are finding it much easier to see "at-a-glance" the status and activity of each of their frameworks. We are working closely with suppliers to ensure that their reporting is aligned to GS1 standards and information such as GTINs (Global Trade Item Number) and GLNs (Global Location Number) are included in their data returns.

Workforce Data 
NHS Procurement in Procurement in Partnership captures Workforce Management information via the MyLPP portal, where suppliers submit spend data. Our Workforce team then checks the information with trusts to ensure suppliers are submitting accurate data, so they can manage the market and ensure agency suppliers are meeting the needs of our members. They also use this data to produce reports for trusts so they can see their spend profiles by staff groups.

The Enablement team has recently recruited a permanent Business Information Analyst and are looking to recruit another team member to help with data mapping in the short term. With our added resource and suite of data sets, we have created an integrated package of tools for our procurement category managers to implement data-driven frameworks and give trusts visibility of benefits received through their Hub membership.