Stuart MacMillan

Programme Lead, Stuart MacMillan, shares how WYAAT is enabling trusts to better manage their supply chain processes, to improve patient outcomes and reduce clinical variation, through the delivery of Scan4Safety.

The Challenge

The NHS is made up of thousands, if not millions, of different processes, practices and standards. Due to the sheer scale of the organisation, variation can at times be huge in terms of patient benefits, patient outcomes and trust costs.  The programme intends to reduce this variation, whilst standardising best practice, ensuring the best possible patient outcomes for the region.

The Plan

As a programme, Scan4Safety focuses on the patient journey through a hospital, looking at ways to improve it working alongside clinicians. In this way, the programme will implement new digital ways of working to allow the capture of patient information at the patient’s bedside, allowing for improved reporting that will in turn improve patient care.

The programme secured £14.9 million of funding to implement improved supply chain practices to deliver better patient care, and has 3 core themes to meet its goals:

  • Building Blocks – making sure all patients, places and products are uniquely identified throughout the region so that every touchpoint with the patient can be captured digitally, allowing for improved monitoring and better delivery of care.
  • Improved Procurement – the delivery of a regional eProcurement function, including a shared access point, catalogue and inventory management system which will allow for efficiency in ordering of products, reducing the overall cost of supply chain, removing the procurement burden from clinical staff and facilitating digital product recall practices.
  • Future Supply Chain – implementing best of class solutions to improve the wider NHS ‘supply chain’, mapping all of the moving parts in the system, from improved patient tracking to ensure efficient care and use of resources, through to equipment utilisation, blood tracking, medicines management and finally reporting, which will facilitate the holy grail of operational command centres


The past 12 months of a global pandemic have brought their challenges but the team have managed to consistently deliver, with all six trusts well on their way with the building blocks of the programme whilst some have ventured further such as:

  • Automated Equipment Tracking - implementing new digital processes to be able to see where all hospital equipment is when needed, reducing the need (and therefore cost) for additional equipment, ensuring existing equipment is serviced regularly and ultimately ensuring the clinical staff have more time dedicated to their patients
  • Digital Patient Transfers - delivering a digital scan of a patient wristband to facilitate a once long-winded process of moving a patient around a hospital in a matter of seconds, equating to several weeks of nursing time returned to patient care.

Final Thoughts

Scan4Safety can often be overlooked as an eProcurement exercise but the opportunities for using standards in healthcare are enormous and WYAAT is perfectly positioned to deliver world class patient care through improved digital practices.

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