Bridging the divide - commercial procurement and supply chain management: are there lessons for health care commissioning in england?

Barbara Ann Allen (School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, England)
Elizabeth Wade (School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, England)
Helen Dickinson (Interests include commissioning and health service reform)

Journal of Public Procurement

ISSN: 1535-0118

Publication date: 1 March 2009

Abstract

Current English health policy is focused on strengthening the ‘demand-side’ of the health care system. Recent reforms are designed to significantly enhance the capability and status of the organisations responsible for commissioning health care services and, in so doing, to address some of the perceived problems of a historically provider/supplierled health system. In this context, commissioning organisations are being encouraged to draw on concepts and processes derived from commercial procurement and supply chain management (SCM) as they develop their expertise. While the application of such principles in the health sector is not new, existing work in the UK has not often considered the role of health care purchasers in the management of health service supply-chains. This paper describes the status of commissioning in the NHS, briefly reviews the procurement and SCM literature and begins to explore the links between them. It lays the foundations for further work which will test the extent to which lessons can be extracted in principle from the procurement literature and applied in practice by health care commissioners.

Citation

Ann Allen, B., Wade, E. and Dickinson, H. (2009), "Bridging the divide - commercial procurement and supply chain management: are there lessons for health care commissioning in england?", Journal of Public Procurement, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 79-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOPP-09-01-2009-B003

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009 by PrAcademics Press

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