How commercial partners are helping the NHS save time and money

There's no better approach to solving challenges than the famous saying "two heads are better than one". Whether talking about internal partnerships between departments or external partnerships with other businesses and organisations, sharing strengths and harnessing what others can bring is one of the most effective ways to innovate and solve problems.

The NHS relies on the products, equipment, services and solutions commercial partners have to offer. With over 500 million patient interactions a year and an annual budget of around £130bn, the NHS would struggle to deliver its services without the contribution of the commercial and third sectors. Our members, the 216 trusts and foundation trusts across England, providing hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services, deliver care to a large proportion of these patients and quite simply couldn't do it without the involvement of commercial suppliers. The importance of commercial partnerships in the NHS cannot be overstated.

Our partners have much to gain from a closer and deeper understanding of our members expertise and experience.

Equally, our partners have much to gain from a closer and deeper understanding of our members expertise and experience. NHS trusts are pioneering new ways of working, innovating to meet unprecedented demand and discovering new medicines, treatments and therapies for their patients. They welcome the support that commercial partners can bring but also expect them to understand the environment within which they operate.

We at NHS Providers have worked with commercial partners to deliver value to our members in a variety of ways.

Recognising this synergy, we at NHS Providers have worked with commercial partners to deliver value to our members in a variety of ways – from joint publications to thought leadership sessions and webinars. We have seen the impact that successful partnership working can have in how trusts deliver care and we believe that suppliers to the NHS are an integral part of the sector – bringing a wealth of innovation, efficiencies and ideas to our members.

As a membership organisation, with multiple partners, we don't endorse individual products, but we do feel it's important, as trusts are working through challenges at an extraordinary pace, to let our members know more about how our commercial partners can help.

Some of the things current partners are doing:

, a specialist health and care law firm, recently worked with us to produce a joint publication and series of webinars for members on the legal considerations arising from the pandemic. COVID-19: Key legal considerations arising from the pandemic.

Locum's Nest, the platform connecting doctors to vacant work and pioneers of The Digital Collaborative Bank, are helping support and staff vaccination hubs in North London, Surrey and Cambridgeshire – enabling synergy and collaboration between primary and secondary care settings and helping vaccinate the nation. Over 30,000 clinicians are using their app on a daily basis and have immediate access to any shifts posted.

Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology and services, uses its capital resources, process optimisation expertise and therapy knowledge to create and tailor integrated health solutions and improve outcomes for trusts. Last year they worked with a number of healthcare providers to maximise screening and diagnostic services to deal with the back log of work from the first wave of the pandemic.

Newton are specialists in designing and delivering large-scale transformation programmes. With a substantial healthcare practice, they are working with leaders and frontline teams in the NHS to realise the benefits of operational and cultural change. In one recent project they helped deliver an integrated model for urgent and intermediate care services for the elderly, producing a financial benefit of £25m.

These are just a few examples of how our commercial partners are helping the NHS. To find out more about all of our commercial partners and what they can offer your trust, download our latest brochure.

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