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Current system of buying medical supplies is unacceptably wasteful, say MPs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3166
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

MPs have criticised the current system of buying medical supplies as wasteful and inefficient, and called for specific measures to ensure that foundation trusts deliver improvements in procurement.

The Public Accounts Committee says the current fragmented system of procurement has produced a great deal of waste, with trusts being charged different prices for the same goods, ordering in inefficient ways, and failing to control the range of products which they buy.

The committee points out that a survey of 61 trusts by the National Audit Office found they had bought 652 different types of surgical gloves and 1751 different types of cannula (BMJ 2011;342:d732 doi:10.1136/bmj.d732). One trust buys 177 different types of glove. In its report the National Audit Office estimated that …

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