The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the NHS under immeasurable pressure, and issues surrounding the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have made national headlines during the NHS response to the pandemic.
NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative has worked with our host trust Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust to create a PPE stock management system to ensure safe levels of supply were maintained.
The purpose of the PPE stock management system was to develop, implement accurate and timely recording of data of PPE stock levels including masks, visors, aprons and hand sanitiser. This system was set up in the context of a global pandemic with significant changes in working practices on a regional and national level, reduced availability of resources and a pressing need for immediacy of data reporting for local decision making and national reporting.
The project involved colleagues from across different departments including procurement, stock management, and clinical colleagues and the project team was brought together under emergency conditions bringing together teams that would not normally work with one another, but connected in the midst of a crisis to support each other.
The first phase of the project developed a data recording and reporting tool in order that local sites need for PPE could be modelled and planned, central stock could be distributed to replenish the model and any shortfalls or trends could be identified early and addressed.
The second phase of the project built on the success of phase one and delivered additional functionalities including delivery schedules based on site editable minimum requirements, sitrep reporting and web form entry data.
The development of this stock management project has streamlined working processes around the ordering of PPE and significantly cut down on the time needed to complete turnarounds on stock ordering. The outcome of this collaborative effort has been very positive.
It was widely reported by LYPFT and LCH that the time to produce a delivery schedule using the new method had on average reduced from 4-5 hours to 30 minutes to 1 hour.