Physios urged to help review NHS supply chain product availability

Dan Lewin is the only physiotherapist on a team of 12 clinicians who are part of a national Department of Health programme to reduce spending inefficiencies in the NHS supply chain, and he is calling on physios to give their input at stakeholder events.

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Dan Lewin has been seconded to the Department of Health clinical evaluation team

The DH Clinical Evaluation Team (CET) was established in 2016 in the wake of a report by Lord Carter that concluded the NHS could save at least £700m a year by reducing unwarranted variations in everyday medical consumables and devices.

Mr Lewin joined the programme last year on a 12-month secondment from his post as musculoskeletal physio manager at Pennine Care foundation trust. ‘The team is largely nurse-based, I am the only physio in the country in this role,’ he told Frontline.

'Right' products

‘Our remit is to review everyday health consumables for the NHS supply chain to make it easier for clinicians to order the right products for their needs, because there is so much variation of products in the catalogue and no explanation as to why that is,’ he added.

He is working on projects that utilise his experience as a physio manager. He has reviewed slide sheets for manual handling and next up will be plaster of Paris bandages.

‘For each project we research articles and technical information and liaise with clinicians for feedback on what they need, we then use this to develop clinical criteria to help clinicians pick the right product,’ he explained.

So far, Mr Lewin has only come across one physio at the stakeholder events that are held in different parts of the country for clinicians to give their opinions on products. ‘I am trying to drive more input from AHPs in this sector as I feel they are a valuable resource that is being missed.’

Mr Lewin added that procurement was not a sector he had previously considered working in until he spotted the job ‘by chance’.

‘The job sounded really interesting and refreshing, now I’m looking to continue in this line of work,’ he said.

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by Louise Hunt

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