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Conducting Supplier Reviews with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust 

Conducting Supplier Reviews with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust


With clinical agency staffing spend increasingly in the spotlight, trusts are tasked with not only reducing their reliance on agency staffing, but also ensuring their supply base is as efficient as possible. This means being able to identify and engage with the suppliers who can best meet their needs, forming closer strategic relationships and driving best value from the market.

As part of the temporary agency efficiency programme Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSE) worked in partnership with the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub to conduct a full review of the Trust’s Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for their temporary medical agency staffing supply.

The project

The review seeks to maximise efficiency opportunities in agency supply, identify areas for operational improvement within the Trust’s medical supply base and create close working relationships with strategically important agencies supplying temporary medical staff to the trust.

In addition to interrogating shift-level data and benchmarking supplier performance with regional throughput, face-to-face meetings took place with multiple agencies to provide an opportunity for two-way feedback. This helped to strengthen working relationships and identify any required improvements in processes.

The outcome

The review saw the removal of a small number of under-performing suppliers from the PSL, supporting the Trust in their efforts to further streamline processes and drive efficiencies.

These reviews highlight the collaborative work happening across all MSE sites, and as a result the MSE team are able to strengthen their supply base by working closely with the suppliers and framework. There are plans to ensure these reviews are repeated periodically throughout the calendar year.

With our access to vast quantities of data gathered each month from suppliers and – on a voluntary basis – from NHS trusts, we’re able to identify key trends at a local, regional, and national level on everything from fill-rate to demand patterns, along with benchmarking rates and highlighting suppliers providing niche specialties. This means our advice in developing workforce strategies, for trusts using our suite of framework agreements, is always underpinned by evidence. Combining our data capabilities with our extensive market knowledge and contacts with our supplier base – which ranges from large, multi-divisional companies to SMEs and specialists – we are able to put in place robust contractual arrangements and assist in managing these as effectively as possible.

If you would like support in reviewing your agency cascade and conducting supplier review meetings, please contact our Workforce team: