NHS Supply Chain agrees national deal to deliver cancer treatment systems

Over £10m of additional savings secured for the NHS

Varian Eclipse

NHS Supply Chain has secured the largest commitment deal to date through the Department of Health’s £300m Capital Equipment Fund.

Created in March 2012, the fund was set up to allow the NHS to buy capital equipment in bulk and make the best-possible use of its buying power. It is managed on a day-to-day basis by NHS Supply Chain, with the Department of Health and the NHS Business Services Authority contributing to the strict governance and oversight process.

Following two initial successful deals with Varian Medical Systems UK, as previously announced by former Health Minister Earl Howe in 2013, more than £10m in additional savings has been secured for the NHS.

The latest deal is for 30 TrueBeam Linear Accelerators. It includes 10 of Varian’s six degrees of freedom couches as well as 50 Eclipse licences. These radiotherapy treatment systems play a vital role in the delivery of world class cancer treatment. The deal with Varian has created a further 14% of savings for the NHS.

Paul Clarke, head of the NHS Business Service Authority’s supplier management function, said: “We have received positive feedback from those organisations that have been involved so far and are really pleased that the option for the NHS to procure capital equipment in this way is available to trusts, obtaining modern, high-performing equipment while achieving substantial cost savings.”

Along with ensuring the NHS is maximising its buying power, in this latest deal the team has committed to a high-level technical specification including advanced image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) to ensure the NHS can align to the recommendations in the recently-published report from the Independent Cancer Taskforce, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A strategy for England 2015-2020 .

In line with the clinical specification for the Linear Accelerator, the team has secured savings on the range of six degrees of freedom couches and associated IT and treatment planning licences, all key elements to delivering advanced radiotherapy.

Andy Brown of NHS Supply Chain said:” The NHS faces an increasingly-acute problem of an ageing asset base. At a time of constricting budgets it is crucial to fully maximise the buying power of the NHS. By securing over 14% greater savings for the NHS than previously achievable, the NHS has moved a step closer to reducing one of the key blocks to replacing vital equipment.

“This deal represents in one order more systems than are currently replaced in one year, despite a huge backlog of ageing equipment requiring replacement. This commitment gives stability to the supply chain which enables the supplier to pass on greater savings to the NHS.”

“The commitment by NHS Supply Chain to order a further 20 TrueBeam systems demonstrates great confidence in this advanced radiotherapy and radiosurgery system, as well as a close alignment between Varian and the UK government’s stated goal of saving many more lives each year,” added Adele Lyons, Varian’s regional sales director.

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