COMMERCIAL: The primary care trust in South Yorkshire has responded to calls to reduce the amount paid out by the NHS on basic supplies by reviewing its spending habits.

Research recently conducted by the National Audit Office found unnecessary spending on consumables costs the NHS £500m a year. The biggest waste of funds was identified as on like-for-like items.

To combat this, NHS Barnsley has started reviewing what it spends on supplies to try and get better value for money. One area of saving the PCT has identified so far is on tubular bandaging, which by replacing a leading product with an alternative, could free-up an estimated £18,000 a year.

Lynne Hepworth, the PCT’s lead tissue viability nurse specialist for care services, said: “Where products are of the same quality and efficacy, it’s essential that we replace the more costly product with a less expensive alternative.

“This is the policy we have applied in switching to Comfifast tubular bandages which work just as well as the brand leading product but are better value for money. We started by trialling the new bandages on hospital wards and the nursing staff didn’t notice any difference.”