Q&A with Kayla Rossington, Clinical Category Officer, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Could you start by giving me some background on you and your role at NHS Wales Shared Services?
My name is Kayla Rossington, and I work for NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership as a Clinical Category Officer. When I joined the team, my role was centred around supporting the clinical sourcing team, with contracting and various other administrative tasks, but once we received the licence for AdviseInc’s Price Benchmarking tool, we quickly realised its potential and explored ways of providing a service that benefited teams across the country. My role was adapted to liaise with all the health boards/Trusts to benchmark products and drive better pricing throughout NHS Wales.
What does your average day look like?
People send a basket of ‘items’ to an inbox, which I manage, including things like proposed price increases from suppliers. I take this data and input it into the Price Benchmarking tool, which presents me with additional information, such as a breakdown of quantities and insight into how much money other health boards/Trusts have paid for the same item over the past three months. I put all of this into a neat report and send it back to the various teams within NHS Wales. So, I basically work for all of the health organisations across Wales, dealing with various teams and providing them with intelligence, so that they are better equipped to negotiate with suppliers and make significant cost-savings/avoidance.
What other support does AdviseInc give NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership?
Early on, AdviseInc suggested running opportunity reports. Essentially, they identify products that we’re paying too much for — which they establish by benchmarking the price we pay against trusts in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We then filter the opportunity reports down so that they are relevant to individual teams, and save them into a shared folder each month, so that everyone can see what their opportunities are and address the issues they have. The service is very, very good.
What are the main challenges you face in your role?
The main thing for us is the data — it’s only as good as what the user puts into the tool. When we first started working with AdviseInc, there were situations where we thought we had identified an opportunity, but in reality, we were comparing different quantities of the same item. Fortunately, AdviseInc found a solution and developed a filter tool, which allows us to filter misleading opportunities from our datasets.
Do you think procurement data and analytics are used effectively across the NHS?
No, mainly because of the resource problems faced by the majority of procurement teams across the NHS. In my organisation it is slightly different, I have been appointed to a role that allows me to dedicate most of my time to data and analytics, but more often than not this isn’t the case.
What is your working relationship with AdviseInc like?
It is really positive. The AdviseInc team go out of their way to support us, and they are always willing to make improvements to the solution based on feedback or suggestions we may have. As part of this, they like to know exactly what we’re using the Price Benchmarking tool for, so that they can make recommendations for how we can utilise the tool in different ways across the organisations we work with — they play a big part in how we deliver our service across NHS Wales.
In Wales, we’re very collaborative, and we’ve been working collaboratively for a long time. I’ve been here for seven years now, and seen first-hand the benefits of working together. With the advent of integrated care systems, I think we will see more organisations in England actively working with companies like AdviseInc.
Are you working on any other projects with AdviseInc?
From April, we will be able login to the system and access all of the data we need with the same email address and password, rather than having individual logins for individual health boards, and we’re expecting this to deliver huge efficiency savings. We will be speaking to AdviseInc about Control Tower, and it will be interesting to see how these conversations develop over the coming weeks and months.
What would you say to those organisations who might be considering working with AdviseInc?
Pick up the phone and speak to them. See what they can do for you. You will be surprised at how AdviseInc can save you time in your processes, which can free-up staff to work on other things.
Every health board and trust should give AdviseInc a go. We are a team of two in Wales, and we are able to benchmark nationally. It’s really simple, and the results speak for themselves.
Get in touch