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Improving PPE procurement data quality for NHS Supply Chain

We managed a project with NHSEI to standardise data and improve the quality of the NHS Supply Chain database, supporting the procurement of PPE.


The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in numerous organisations being involved in the procurement and distribution of vital supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical equipment across the country. This led to changes in reporting and recording of data, impacting NHS Supply Chain’s database quality. Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) were engaged by NHS England and Improvement to provide project management and administrative support in order to review and improve data quality for core items within the NHS Supply Chain.


The project management and administrative support mobilised quickly to ensure that immediate provision, keeping in line with the short timescales and key milestones. Project documentation and governance structures were implemented efficiently using an agile approach to flex with the needs and demands of the project. We set out the key tasks and milestones, providing clear visibility of progress. We implemented a robust administrative process and ensured that key actions were captured, cascaded and achieved in a timely manner.


The support and administrative expertise provided  for the project led to a successful delivery of a robust and effective database for the NHS Supply Chain. We delivered much needed support in a fast-paced environment, allowing for clear visibility of key dependencies, actions and deadlines. As a result, procurement and subject matter experts could focus solely on the key deliverables and project objectives.

Mobilising at pace and implementing effective project structures ensured the project’s objectives were met. This includes:

  • Improved processes
  • Standardisation and improved data quality
  • Support the procurement of core items within the NHS Supply Chain PPE catalogue.

Our effective relationship skills with key stakeholders and ability to deploy quickly, motivated the project sponsor to extend our administrative support by a further two months to support and deliver the second phase of the programme.

Nicola [from MLCSU] was a great help to the programme, prompt and efficient. She was a joy to work with, kept me and the programme organised and I miss her already.

Andrew McMinn, Chief Procurement Officer, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust