SMEs gather at event to unlock NHS procurement potential

North West businesses and commercial organisations joined NHS procurement experts this week, to explore opportunities for potential synergies within the healthcare sector at an event held by the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN).

The event featured industry-led panels on various innovation topics. Over 150 delegates were in attendance at the De Vere Hotel in Blackpool to discuss potential opportunities for growth in the NHS and how small organisations can play a role in its growth.

Attendees at the event including Crawford Healthcare, a rapidly growing skincare company, global healthcare leader MSD and the UK’s largest supplier of identification related products and services, Digital ID, explored the role procurement plays in delivering better healthcare solutions in the NHS.

NWC AHSN was also the key sponsor for this year’s North West Procurement Development (NWPD) Excellence in Supply Awards for the second year in a row. As well as spearheading innovation in NHS procurement on a regional level, NWC AHSN also lead nationally on behalf of the other 15 academic health science networks in England.

The overall winner on the night was Everton in the Community. Dr Liz Mear, CEO of NWC AHSN, hosted the event.

Dr Mear said:

“The North West Coast AHSN is dedicated to supporting small business and helping them to grow and feed into the wider healthcare sector. One of the ways we do this is by providing platforms for organisations from across various industries to gather in one location and celebrate and recognise innovation. We hope that this will stimulate the progression and uptake of new technology in the region.

“We are committed to providing support for small and upcoming businesses whether that is through professional help and advice or introducing them to key stakeholders in the health network.

“These two events have been fantastic in bringing together specialists and people from across the healthcare sector to facilitate a sharing of ideas and knowledge and we hope that it will act as a springboard for future collaborations.”

David Pierpoint, Managing Director, Customer Engagement of the NHS Supply Chain, which sponsored the Procurement in Innovation event, commented:

“NWC AHSN taking a leading role in creating this forum, to bring together procurement and suppliers particularly SME’s, will hopefully act as a platform to help accelerate adoption of innovation within the North West Region and ultimately the wider NHS.”

The NWC AHSN is one of 15 academic health science networks in England. One of its areas of operations involves working as part of the NHS to enable innovative products to spread quickly and successfully through the NHS, by supporting would-be suppliers with practical and strategic advice and support as they look to tap into the market.

The NWC AHSN will also be celebrating its first anniversary with an Innovation Celebration event at St George’s Hall on 11th December 2014. The event will showcase some of the latest technologies that are being developed within the NWC region as well as the work the North West Coast AHSN has been undertaking for driving collaboration between the NHS and other industries.

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