FINANCE: A project led by the chief executive of Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust has identified potential for £200m of savings.

Mary Edwards has led a group of South Central chief executives in developing proposals for the Integrated Supply Chain programme which aims to drive down the cost of procurement for healthcare organisations.

A review of the initial work on the project by the Office of Government Commerce found the project was ambitious but had potential to make the £200m savings identified over a four year period.

The SHA initially provided support of £1.1m (devolved from DH) to fund the preparatory commercial and legal work and get the project to a stage where full Official Journal of the European Union tendering had been completed, potential bidders were in place and business cases for individual organisations were in preparation.

This point has now been reached and funding for all remaining work is being taken on by local organisations. An Invitation to submit a final tender has now been issued. It is hoped that a preferred bidder will be identified in February.

Several trusts from outside NHS South Central are also expressing keen interest to join the project. A director to lead the implementation process across South Central organisations is currently being sought.