How Can NHS Suppliers Help Buyers Achieve Net Zero Targets

How Can NHS Suppliers Help Buyers Achieve Net Zero Targets?

The National Health Service (NHS) is the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in the United Kingdom. It is also one of the world's largest employers, with over 1.2 million staff members.

In recent years, the NHS has made a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 2020, which will help it reach its net zero targets. However, reports have shown that the NHS is not on track to hit these targets.

In this blog post, we will discuss how NHS contracts and different framework agreements can help them reach their net zero goals.

Keep reading to discover the NHS contracts, if contract opportunities will help them to hit targets on carbon reduction, and much more.

What Are the NHS Carbon Reduction Plans?

The NHS has set a target to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050.

In order to achieve this, they have made a number of plans and changes. For example, they have committed to switching to low-carbon energy sources, such as renewable energy.

They have also invested in energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and insulation. In addition, the NHS has been reviewing their commissioning process with suppliers to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

Moreover, the NHS has been working to raise awareness of climate change and its impact on health. They have been delivering educational campaigns, such as the 'Act on CO2' campaign.

What Are Their Direct and Indirect Emissions?

Direct emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal. These are used for heating buildings and powering equipment.

Indirect emissions are those that are produced when goods or services are purchased from other organizations. For example, the emissions from manufacturing or transportation.

The NHS has both direct and indirect emissions. However, the majority of their emissions come from indirect sources. This is because most of the goods and services that they purchase are produced using fossil fuels.

In order to reduce their emissions, the NHS needs to work with suppliers and government organisations who can help them switch to low-carbon alternatives.

Furthermore, the government has set a target for the NHS to reduce its emissions by 30% by the year 2025.

In order to meet this target, the NHS will need to make significant changes. For example, they may need to purchase low-carbon goods and services or switch to renewable energy sources.

Are There Any Future/Upcoming Changes in Requirements?

In April 2019, the government introduced a new mandatory requirement for all public sector organizations to report their carbon emissions. This includes emissions from both direct and indirect sources.

The reporting must be done annually, and the first reports are due in April 2020. In addition, the government has said that it will introduce a new target for the public sector to reduce its emissions by 30% by the year 2025.

This means that all organizations, including the NHS, will need to make further reductions in order to meet this target.

To ensure that they are able to meet these new requirements, contractors will need to work with the NHS to help them reduce their emissions.

This may include helping them switch to low-carbon energy sources, investing in energy efficiency measures, or working with suppliers to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

What Is the Supplier Framework?

The supplier framework is a system that is used by the NHS to assess and select suppliers. In order to qualify for an NHS contract, suppliers must be able to demonstrate their progress through progress reports and carbon emissions reporting.

The NHS will also consider other factors, such as the price of the goods or services, the quality of the products or services, and the environmental impact of the supplier.

When selecting a supplier, the NHS will also take into account the supplier's ability to help them meet their carbon reduction targets. This means that contractors who can help the NHS reduce their emissions will be at an advantage when competing for contracts.

In conclusion, NHS tenders can play a vital role in helping the organization reach its net zero targets. By working with contractors who can help them reduce their emissions, the NHS can make significant progress towards its goals.

How Exactly Can NHS Suppliers and Buyers Help Lower Emissions Then?

NHS tenders can help lower emissions in a few ways:

  1. By working with contractors who can help the NHS switch to low-carbon energy sources, such as renewable energy.
  2. By investing in energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and insulation.
  3. By working with suppliers to help them reduce their carbon emissions. This may include helping them switch to low-carbon alternatives or investing in energy efficiency measures.
  4. By ensuring that all future reports on carbon emissions are accurate and up-to-date. This will allow the NHS to make informed decisions about where they can make further reductions.

The NHS is committed to reducing its carbon emissions, and working with NHS contracts and contractors who can help them meet their goals is a vital part of this process.

By selecting suppliers who can offer low-carbon solutions, the NHS can make significant progress towards its net-zero targets.

Net Zero Targets Expected

In conclusion, the NHS is not on track to reach its net zero targets. However, by working with NHS suppliers who can help them reduce their emissions, the NHS can make significant progress toward its goals.

By re-evaluating its commissioning process and selecting suppliers who can offer low-carbon solutions, the NHS can make progress towards meeting its net-zero targets.

Get in touch with us to discover what it takes to win contracts and framework agreements with government organisations and engage with contracts to win.


6 Benefits of Telehealth Services

6 Benefits of Telehealth Services

6 Benefits of Telehealth Services

6 Benefits of Telehealth Services

September 2022

The U.K. telehealth market is expected to reach more than 1.2 million people by 2027, which means many health systems see the benefits of telehealth. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, telehealth services have expanded worldwide, reaching people remotely with quality healthcare.

Telehealth has many benefits, including increasing patient flexibility, improving follow-ups, and decreasing overall costs. When you learn more about the benefits of telehealth, your comprehensive healthcare system will improve, and patient outcomes will be better.

Here’s more on the six benefits of telehealth.

1. Increased Patient Flexibility

Busy work and school schedules, sports practices, and social activities make it difficult to squeeze everything in on time. One of the significant benefits of telehealth is flexibility for patients and doctors. You’re much more likely to attend a telehealth appointment than an in-person visit.

For example, there’s no travel time between you and the doctor’s office (both coming and going). You can attend an appointment anywhere you have an internet connection, whether in your house, office, or soccer field.

Certain conditions are not ideal for telehealth – including chest pain, fever, or high blood pressure. However, certain conditions are such as a rash or a sore throat. Talking with your provider can help you determine if telehealth is right for you, depending on the circumstances.

Workers used almost 150 million sick days in the U.K. in 2021 – some for doctor visits. One of the benefits of telehealth is you won’t have to use a sick day to go to the doctor.

There’s also the flexibility of seeing different medical professionals, including physical therapists and mental health experts. Doctors can provide a wide range of flexible services

2. Improved Follow-ups

After an in-person visit, one of the significant telehealth benefits is a follow-up. Since follow-ups are short, doctors and patients can make the stop quickly.

Doctors in the healthcare system can discuss the next stages of care after surgery or invasive tests. They can also discuss patient outcomes and discuss follow-up wound care or medications. Doctors and providers can also spend more time with each patient.

Another one of the benefits of using telehealth is providers can talk to patients about any problems they might be having. Moreover, they can give emotional support to those in isolation or those suffering from a chronic condition alone.

3. Decrease Overall Costs

The patient benefits of telehealth and the provider benefits of using telehealth become clear by reducing overall costs. Healthcare companies can also reduce their costs, including charges to patients.

Doctors no longer have to have a ‘physical’ office, and patients can avoid driving to appointments. With a smaller office (even one in the home), overhead costs are lower.

Because fewer patients and personnel are clogging up hospitals, clinics, and offices, these facilities become more productive. Telehealth benefits include seeing patients needing in-person care from a doctor or medical professional.

With more visits via telehealth services, there’s a lesser chance a patient will develop a chronic condition or more severe illness. Over the long term, treatment costs the healthcare system and the doctor less.

Many studies suggest people who regularly use telehealth services see fewer emergency room visits and fewer visits to clinics. Because people are getting better patient outcomes over their time of care, there are not many emergencies when a problem flares up.

Automation could also see an increase as a telehealth benefit in the U.K.

4. Access for Rural Patients

A large patient benefit of telehealth is having access to large hospital systems across the U.K., regardless of where they live or their living situation.

You no longer have to worry about your location and access to health care.

Traveling for specialized care can be daunting for many patients because of their living or physical conditions. The benefits of telehealth services are a gamechanger and give people access to excellent health care even if they live far from a great healthcare system.

Doctors may also find it difficult to travel long distances to reach patients for clinics and educate them about the latest medical practices.

5. Reduces No-Shows

A benefit of telehealth services is that it reduces transportation problems for patients. They no longer have to cancel an appointment because they can’t get to an appointment or are stuck in traffic.

Many people who struggle with transportation issues are elderly, immobile, or those with disabilities. People can avoid worrying about whether the buses or trains run on time by sitting in the comfort of their homes and using telehealth’s patient benefits.

When people don’t show up for an appointment, there are added costs, and doctors can’t see as many patients during the day.

6. Reduced Anxiety

Many people fear going to the doctor in-person. So-called “white coat syndrome” can boost blood pressure and anxiety attacks and even raise the pulse rate. Some people even sweat profusely when they arrive at a doctor’s office.

Telehealth services reduce the in-person portion of your doctor’s visit and make the experience much more pleasant. There’s a more relaxed feel when the doctor and patient meet virtually.

Doctors’ offices (and hospitals) are also full of germs, including Covid-19, flu, and staph infections. When you leave an office, there could be a fear of getting one of these issues can create enough anxiety!

Telehealth visits keep the most at-risk patients home and away from getting anything serious. This is a great choice for the patient and health care provider for the immunocompromised.

Six Benefits of Telehealth

The virtual world is rapidly moving forward, and healthcare is no exception. There are six benefits of telehealth, including flexibility, better follow-ups, and decreased costs. In addition, there’s better access for rural patients, reduced no-shows, and less anxiety.

Contact us today about setting up telehealth services. We can help you set up the computer infrastructure needed to accomplish the necessary goals for telehealth. We can also educate you about the benefits of telehealth and how it can improve your overall quality of care.

Examining the Future of NHS Staffing

Examining the Future of NHS Staffing

Examining the Future of NHS Staffing

Examining the Future of NHS Staffing

September 2022

There’s no industry whose fate was as tightly interwoven with the COVID-19 pandemic as the healthcare sector. For years, healthcare workers put their lives on the line.

They struggled through long working days and worrying conditions to protect the population. This necessary preoccupation with the Coronavirus stunted innovation in the sector.

Yet, it prompted essential conversations about the importance of staff well-being and flexible working in the NHS. The Nursing and Midwifery Council announced in 2020 that the number of registrations boasted the most significant ever annual increase. Approximately 18,000 people joined the register amidst concerns about Brexit and a lack of NHS staffing.

These numbers are cause for optimism when we consider the future of NHS staffing. This article will look at what the future could hold for NHS nursing and midwifery.

Will the number of staff rapidly decline thanks to the aftermath of the pandemic? How will the NHS encourage aspiring healthcare professionals to follow this career path?

Let’s take a look…

Challenging NHS Staffing Shortages

Before we talk about the potential future, let’s talk about the present. Workforce shortages are currently one of the greatest challenges facing the NHS.

Right now, it is projected that the NHS will need an additional 314,000 full-time staff to meet demands in 2030.

This data assumes that patients will be spending a similar amount of time in hospitals as they do now. As a result, staffing demands will remain high, even as productivity increases.

Undoubtedly future governments will have to carefully consider NHS funding. At the same time, the UK struggles to attract home-grown nurses. More than 27,000 left the register in 2021.

Retirement is a crucial factor in this number. Many nurses put off their retirement for a year to support the NHS during the pandemic. Now, every industry faces worker shortages, with unemployment at a record low.

There were 1.29 million open positions in the first quarter of 2022. These shortages affect low-paying roles especially. NHS staff especially has cause to complain about long hours for insufficient pay.

The register is again on the rise, though the UK is lagging behind Europe and the Rest of the world. While numbers are now higher than ever, the NHS relies on internationally trained staff.

Although the contributions of these workers are immensely valuable, there’s cause for caution. Global events, or another pandemic, could easily disrupt these workers so that we may not take them for granted.

Focus on Flexibility

Flexible working conversations are happening across every industry. Remote work has been introduced as a genuine possibility for many workforce members. In the healthcare sector, remote working may not be possible.

Still, the NHS can support flexibility at scale through other means.
The sector is increasingly taking a more agile approach. Critical aspects of a more flexible system include:

Placing more trust in operational teams. This means giving them the freedom to delegate and make decisions for themselves.

Giving staff more options to work. Workers should be able to decide when and how they work. More flexibility facilitates a healthier work-life balance.

Supporting training and career development. Hereby, emphasis should be on flexible and transferable skills. Less staff will train to fulfill very specific roles.

Whole-workforce flexibility: In the future, the NHS may draw staff from a national bank of workers. This could provide qualified and skilled healthcare workers on a per-needs basis.

Embracing agility allows the NHS to work in new, innovative ways. As a result, it will become easier for teams to make decisions and achieve positive results. Flexibility also allows teams to embrace innovations and ideas.

This, in turn, may return the spark to the profession. Whereby skilled healthcare workers can improve care and service.

The Rise of ICSs

ICSs (integrated Care systems) are partnerships of organisations that deliver joined health care services. Local healthcare services will collaborate to meet the specific needs of local populations.

These systems will be established on a statutory basis starting from July 2022. Each will incorporate:

Integrated Care Partnerships (ICP): A statutory committee formed between NHS care boards and the upper-tier local authorities. The ICP will bring together partners concerned with improving healthcare and the local population’s well-being.

Integrated Care Board (ICB): An NHS organisation responsible for developing a health plan for the local population.

They will manage the NHS budget and arrange for the provision of health services. These will replace clinical commissioning groups. Place-based partnerships with local councils, communities, residents, voluntary organisations, and carers.

ICSs offers a vision of a more flexible NHS. It embraces collaboration between crucial health and social organisations to provide more relevant and personalised care to each area.

Improving Recruitment of Nurses and Midwives in the NHS

In response to severe NHS staffing shortages, all parts of the UK are enacting plans to increase the number of nurses and midwives. For this purpose, some funding support was provided to student nurses in 2020.

This has helped increase the number of nurses currently in training. According to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, the overall rise in nurse numbers is pleasing.

However, it’s important to remember that whilst the numbers of nursing staff may increase, the demand for health care workers is also steadily growing.

The NHS will struggle to fill its over 100,000 vacancies without looking to improve funding, staff well-being, and workplace flexibility.

If you want to learn more about NHS contracts and how to incorporate them into your business, get in touch with HCI today to access a free trial.

The Future of PPE in the NHS

The Future of PPE in the NHS

The Future of PPE in the NHS

September 2022

Between February 2020 and March 2022, the UK government distributed 19.8 billion items of personal protective equipment, or PPE. These were primarily for use by health and social care services in England, including the NHS. This was a huge increase on the 2.43 billion items of PPE equipment delivered by the government in 2019.

The pandemic caused a massive boom in the use of PPE, which made a real difference to public safety during the early stages of the pandemic. But as the UK’s pandemic response continues to shift, the future of PPE in the NHS looks uncertain.

If you’re hoping to contract with health and social care services in the UK, you need to understand what these institutions need. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you what you need to know about PPE equipment usage in the NHS. By looking at the past and the present, we’ll give you the insight you need to anticipate and plan for the future.

PPE Equipment Before the Pandemic

Before the pandemic, the global PPE equipment sector was dominated by a handful of suppliers. The UK public paid very little attention to how it was procured and used. It was seen as the province of intensive hospital-based care, rather than a necessity for public health.

But despite the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was some interest in PPE before February 2020. That interest usually surged in response to terror events such as the 9/11 attacks, or disease outbreaks elsewhere in the world. The SARS outbreak of 2003, for example, raised questions about the UK’s approach to PPE use.

Those spikes of interest in PPE were short-lived and did not ultimately develop into policy. This left the UK in a vulnerable position at the outset of the pandemic when unprecedented demand and limited supply combined to create a crisis.

PPE Equipment During the Pandemic

The pandemic caused an abrupt shift to remote working, which interrupted supply chains around the world. The UK was no exception. Even worse, PPE supply chains were fragile enough to feel the full impact of both early lockdowns and surges in demand.

Personal protective equipment became a necessity for more than just the NHS. As masking became part of life in the UK, members of the public also struggled to find the PPE they needed. This further increased the pressure on PPE supply chains and risked leaving clinical settings short-handed.

Within the NHS, PPE became a matter of life and death. Front-line medical staff needed the means to protect themselves from exposure to Covid-19. Without that protection, staff sickness and absence risked even further pressure on the overextended NHS.

As a result, the UK government was forced to look beyond its existing supply chains to find the PPE it needed. Between February and July 2020, the UK spent £12 billion on PPE. That amounted to £10 million more than the same items would have cost in 2019.

The Costs and Benefits of PPE

The UK government had only two weeks’ worth of PPE stockpiled at the time the pandemic hit. What’s more, it had sourced the equipment it would need for an influenza pandemic – not the more infectious, more deadly coronavirus. This meant that it needed to pay over the odds for the supplies it needed once the pandemic hit.

Keeping the NHS well-stocked with PPE is an investment. Given the ongoing uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the potential risk of monkeypox outbreaks around the world, spending on PPE now could be the smartest possible move for the UK. It could prevent the government from needing to overspend later when prices are inflated due to emergency circumstances.

Investing in PPE also means keeping the NHS working. Front-line medical staff wearing PPE are less likely to contract sickness while working, and less likely to need time away to recover. Better staff health – and staff retention – will save the NHS money over time.

But the up-front costs of maintaining a robust supply of PPE are significant. The NHS is already expensive to maintain, and the political will to increase healthcare spending depends heavily on public opinion.

As the urgency of the pandemic begins to fade, the threat of complacency looms large. Will the UK government learn from the early scramble for overpriced PPE equipment, or will it allow PPE supplies to lapse again?

The Future of PPE

At present, face coverings – PPE or otherwise – are still a requirement in healthcare settings. That includes GP surgeries, hospitals, and care homes. The rules may have changed for the general population, but the level of caution in the NHS remains high.

While the pandemic remains a concern, it is unlikely that these restrictions will be lifted. At least within the NHS, demand for PPE is likely to continue at its current level for the immediate future.

And with masking requirements for the general public becoming more relaxed, the cost of PPE is likely to return to manageable levels. That means that the UK government will be prepared to continue investing in PPE supplies for NHS use.

Nothing is guaranteed, and the pandemic could easily upset our expectations yet again. But all around the world, countries are investing in protecting healthcare while relaxing their anti-Covid measures for the public. The UK’s policy so far has been closely aligned with that trend.

Shape the Future of the NHS

Predicting the new normal requires unprecedented insight. If your business is hoping to provide PPE equipment to the NHS, you need HCI’s vast wealth of data and connections to give you a competitive edge.

At HCI Contracts, we know the UK’s healthcare procurement landscape better than anyone. We provide real-time data analysis, as well as insight into historical contract awards, to help you execute your bids. We also have contacts across the industry, so we can put your business in touch with the people you need to know.

Contact us today, and let’s shape the future of UK healthcare together.