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“It is only as a result of the intervention of the Innovation Agency’s commercial team that we were able to break through barriers to joining NHS frameworks.”
Dr Jonathan Day,
Leanvation managing director
Historically, an extensive range of surgical gloves has been necessary to service each surgical specialty. Also, latex gloves present a risk of allergic reactions by staff. Using the latest surgical glove technology, Leanvation developed a range of latex-free surgical gloves that are thinner and softer than most existing designs without compromising strength. This provides multifunctionality across surgical specialities to a level that has been proved to more than halve the range of surgical glove products required by hospitals.
WHAT WE DID
With help from the Innovation Agency the company overcame the rigorous processes involved in securing three framework award contracts with SBS, HTE and NHS Supply Chain. This means that Leanvation surgical gloves are now available to NHS trusts throughout the country.
- Improved efficiency by reducing the range of surgical glove products required;
- Reduced risk of infection owing to 100 per cent inspection for holes and defects;
- The potential to eradicate the risk of latex allergy for clinicians and patients.
Which national priorities does this work address? Carter Review of best practice in procurement
TIPS FOR ADOPTION
Lateral thinking can help overcome barriers in procurement, challenge conditions included in prequalification questionnaires.
Now that the product is available on several procurement frameworks all Trusts can procure the products. This usually requires co-operation with procurement leads and a clinical evaluation in theatres. Taking a handson approach to supporting any such evaluation and being physically present to support end-users is critical.
Leanvation Managing Director Dr Jonathan Day said: “This is the breakthrough we have been waiting for; there is strict governance in the health service which means that only a limited number of approved companies are allowed to provide supplies.
“It is a massive achievement for us and has helped us to attract further investment to step up production.
“It is only as a result of the intervention of the Innovation Agency’s commercial team that we were able to break through barriers to joining NHS frameworks, such as a requirement for a £1 million turnover.”
The company later secured £500,000 venture capital investment; three jobs have been safeguarded and an additional six posts have been created.
With help from the Innovation Agency, Leanvation overcame the rigorous processes involved in securing framework award contracts with NHS Shared Business Services; Healthtrust Europe; North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative; and NHS Supply Chain.
The first tender advertised required a wider range of products to be supplied than the company produced but, after explaining the potential demand in the region, this condition was amended. Another required a minimum turnover; the Innovation Agency introduced Apsiz, a procurement consultancy firm, who led the challenge to this condition and supported Leanvation with the tender documentation. In both cases they were awarded the tender. Shortly after this the national NHS Supply Chain tender was advertised and Leanvation were able to use what they had learned to secure this too.
Introductions were made to local trusts; Aintree University Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital carried out evaluations and are now procuring the Leanvation gloves. These early adopters are now recommending the gloves to trusts outside the region.