NHS to use tech platform of Virtualstock

Bianca Boorer Sharecast | 02 Nov, 2016 14:04 - Updated: 17:06 | | |

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Virtualstock (VS) Holdings’ technology platform is to be used by NHS shared business services joint venture NHS SBS.

London-listed Legendary Investments has a 7% stake in VS. NHS SBS, a joint venture with European provider in digital transformation Sopra Steria Group, has partnered with VS for the provision of VS technology throughout the NHS to improve efficiencies and reduce costs in NHS procurement.

NHS SBS has saved the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds since it was set up in 2005 and now aims to help the health service work towards achieving the £500m to £1bn of procurement savings called for in Lord Carter’s 2016 productivity review.

NHS SBS managing director David Morris said: "Transforming the way hospitals buy services from their suppliers has been a priority in the NHS for years. Our partnership with Virtualstock means we can deliver highly successful retail best practice and best value for the health service, giving hospitals the tools to start saving the billions of pounds needed."

The venture platform, which provides a purchase to pay e-commerce, will create a competitive online marketplace for NHS users where as many as 100,000 current suppliers will be able to offer their products and innovations to the NHS. Hospitals will be able to purchase a full range of products through a single eCommerce platform in a way that users experience in everyday online shopping.

Former national strategy director at the Department of Health and Virtualstock's director of healthcare and public sector Rob Knott said: "We are connecting 100,000 suppliers with 1 million customers, delivering huge savings through competition and ensuring better patient outcomes by making sure the right products are always available to those delivering frontline care."

“Transparent costing and access to the right products will mean that millions of pounds of waste, caused in the past by huge variation in prices paid by NHS organisations for everything from syringes to surgical gloves, can now be avoided,” said the statement.

With some of England’s largest hospitals already signed up to the platform, NHS SBS has access to the system for the hundreds of healthcare organisations it represents across England.

The partnership will also help NHS providers to meet the requirements of the NHS eProcurement strategy whilst also delivering on NHS improvement targets around back office savings.

Executive chairman of Legendary, Zafar Karim, said: "We are delighted that VS technology is able to provide an "Amazon" like marketplace for the NHS by partnering with NHS SBS. This important development allows increasing savings in the NHS through the provision of a transparent and competitive marketplace from which the NHS can procure its supplies.

"VS is quickly penetrating the health sector to bring efficiencies and savings. VS is sector agnostic, and while the current focus is on retail and the health service, VS systems have application across numerous sectors," he added.

Shares in Legendary Investments rose 57.24% to 0.33p at 1620 GMT on Wednesday.

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