Outsourced Outpatient Pharmacy Service Delivers Significant Cost and Efficiency Savings

HealthTrust Europe (HTE), the UK’s leading group purchasing organisation, was approached by Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) NHS Foundation Trust to undertake a bespoke consultancy project for Outpatient Pharmacy Services.

With over 800 beds across its sites, RD&E delivers over 300,000 outpatient attendances and over 115,000 day case or inpatient admissions each year, and was experiencing increasing demand for inpatient and outpatient services. Despite RD&E’s pharmacy staff and executives exploring a number of possible solutions over the years, they had eventually out-grown their space and sought external advice.

“HTE were picked as they had a proven track record and experience of this type of procurement on behalf of acute trusts. We had been introduced to HTE as part of a possible joint procurement with other Trusts. When we were ready to start our procurement we already had some experience of how HTE would run this on our behalf. As procurement is a complex issue and the Trust did not have local experience HTE were able to support and guide the team through the process. They were available to provide the guidance and timescales in order to keep the process on track and deliver a successful outcome for the Trust” Tracey Foss, Chief Pharmacist at RD&E.

Working in partnership with the RD&E project team, HTE set out to deliver and implement an Outpatient Dispensing Service, a project that was expected to take in the region of 12 month to complete. HTE provided a tailored approach to deliver a long term solution for RD&E; including defining the scope of the project and undertaking a competitive dialogue tendering exercise, through to contract award and project implementation.

HTE submitted a comprehensive OJEU notice and a robust pre-qualification questionnaire to ensure that only fit for purpose suppliers were short-listed to the Competitive Dialogue stage of the process.  Relevant documentation was then issued to those suppliers, with two dialogue stages taking place to establish a comprehensive solution that was fit for purpose. The evaluation occurred after each dialogue stage of the process. HTE supported RD&E at every stage right through to implementation, with input from its in-house legal solicitor to ensure legal compliance, and to ensure no legal challenges were raised in respect of the procurement exercise.

The competitive dialogue tendering exercise allowed RD&E to make an informed and confident choice to partner with Boots UK Limited, who provided a state of the art Outpatient Pharmacy located on the ground floor in the main hospital corridor. The dispensary has enhanced the patients’ experience while visiting the hospital; enabling quicker discharge, shorter waiting times and allowing the RD&E pharmacy staff to focus on medication reviews for inpatients.

Following successful completion of this bespoke project, HTE has been commissioned by RD&E to undertake a Renal Managed Service procurement project.

“As a preferred partner for total health economy efficiency, we build long term relationships with our members; supporting them to deliver challenging cost saving and efficiency targets. We see ourselves as an extension of their team and look forward to building on this partnership” commented Sanjeev Narwal, Director of Procurement at HTE.

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