Procurement staff and key suppliers drawn from the NHS Midlands and East of England region held their inaugural conference and awards ceremony in Hinckley on Thursday 16th May.
The conference, entitled ‘NHS Performing at its Best’ provided an invited audience of nearly one hundred procurement professionals, representing some 60 Trusts, with an opportunity to hear from three eminent speakers.
The morning focussed on the support given to our Armed Forces, initially from a trauma perspective, through to the social support they receive after being discharged from hospital.
Colonel Joanne Palmer, Keynote Speaker and Commanding Officer for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, opened the conference by explaining how injured personnel from across all the armed forces are treated in collaboration with NHS staff at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham to deliver seamless care by maximising the complementary clinical skills that exist in the MOD and NHS.
“Excellent teamwork and a passion to improve is at the heart of our clinical care”, the Colonel told the audience bridging both Acute and Social sides of the NHS. Her impassioned presentation was then followed by Mr. Carl Beet, Trust Assistant Director of PMO and ICT at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Trust, who spoke about the efforts being made to support ex-service personnel live a normal life after their discharge in the army.
He told the audience that post traumatic stress, which can often lead to suicide, kills more military personnel than the battlefield itself, so for them the fight continues, but in their own home.
The afternoon session focussed on sharing best practice in collaboration. Healthcare Communication and Baxter Healthcare shared the limelight with two excellent case studies that underpinned their award winning entry in the Supplier of the Year Awards 2018 for the North. Healthcare Communication addressed the area of rising postal costs by introducing an online patient portal. Baxter Healthcare talked about their dialysis education centre, where patients enjoy residential care whilst learning how to undergo dialysis using the latest equipment before continuing treatment at home.
David Melbourne, Deputy Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Chair of the Midland Customer Board, said of the event: “The conference was a great success for delegates and sponsors alike. When we made the decision back in October 2018 to hold the conference there was some trepidation amongst a small section of the procurement community in the MCB region as to whether the time was right to hold the event. Thankfully those concerns were unfounded and despite all the challenges the NHS are facing at the moment it was great to see so many NHS staff and suppliers embrace the event and attend in large numbers”.