The NHS Spend Comparison Service is an online tool for NHS procurement teams to compare price and spend data, helping to identify potential savings, leverage the market and collaborate to purchase goods and services.
The service is centrally funded and comprises a free-to-use set of analytical tools that enables NHS organisations to compare their spend on goods and services and product prices. The service provides visibility and insight for NHS procurement teams, helping to make effective purchasing decisions, and ensure continuity of supply by directing NHS organisations to alternative sources of products and services.
Introduced in August 2019, the service has been refreshed in May 2023, with additional data and tools to further support NHS procurement teams to deliver the best value for the taxpayer. New services include a redeveloped ‘Product Benchmarking Tool’ that identifies cashable savings that could be generated when switching specific products or services to alternative sources of supply.
The new tool has been piloted by NHS procurement teams. Humber and North Yorkshire Procurement Collaborative used the service to help identify £1.1 milion in recurring savings opportunities. We estimate that if all NHS organisations were to use the service, the NHS could generate £44 million of recurring savings.
Development of the NHS Spend Comparison Service is a deliverable of the Central Commercial Function, established in July 2022 to help ensure that the NHS is making the best use of public money and reducing procurement and supply chain costs.
Using the service enables NHS organisations to:
- Identify total and comparative spend by supplier and category
- Benchmark prices paid for goods, direct from a supplier and through different supply routes to understand the most cost-effective supply route to;
- achieve savings
- avert cost pressures
- Benchmark prices for a category given spend
- Ensure resilient supplies by providing supplier financial information and identifying alternative sources of stock.
A new Product Benchmarking Tool is now available. It has been developed in collaboration with NHS procurement teams and piloted, to ensure that these new features support them in their daily roles.
Benefits of the new functionality include:
- Opportunity to switch supply route: it identifies products and product categories where cashable savings could be generated by switching supply route
- Mitigating supply chain cost pressures : it identifies product price rises and opportunities where consumption could be reduced and/or products could be moved to different supply routes
- Highlighting unwarranted price increases: it identifies unwarranted product price and retain contracted price-points, leading to cost avoidance
- Supply route straddle analysis: it identifies suppliers and categories where an NHS organisation is potentially not achieving the full benefit of their spend
- Product price benchmarking: it identifies product price variation between NHS organisations across product ranges and product price variation for discrete products, which may support in contract renegotiations
- Supplier fragmentation analysis: it identifies a larger than expected supplier base in a category
- Product standardisation analysis: it identifies categories with a larger than expected number of products, given spend on the category
The new tool is currently at public beta stage with scope for further development following feedback.
How to use the service
To access the new Product Benchmarking Tool, hosted by the NHS London Procurement Partnership, please request access via the access request form.
To access the Live Accounts Payable Spend Analytics and Legacy Purchase Order Price Benchmarking dashboards, please visit the NHS England application library to register for an account and access the tools.
More information about the available dashboards, tools and how to access them can be found on the Central Commercial Function Hub (this platform requires a login).
Support for NHS commercial teams
Training events and webinars, self-help ‘how to’ videos, case studies and user guides are available on the Central Commercial Function Hub, including step-by-step guidance on how to use the service.
Further information on the data collections behind the service is available on the NHS Digital website.
For any further enquiries, contact the Central Commercial Function data and technology team at email@example.com.