Managing Director Marvels at Materials Management

Tracey Sopp, Managing Director of NTW Solutions joined our Materials Management Team as part of a regular series of ‘back to the floor’ service visits. The team supports clinical and other services by providing consistent stock levels of whatever resources they need to keep their services running. 

Materials Management is essentially about making sure that teams have the equipment and resources they need when they need them.

While it might sound simple it involves a complex range of teams spread over a large number of sites with hundreds of different products to source and presents a huge logistical challenge.

Unlike Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard to find it bare, that should never happen with the help of the Materials Management Team, who keep each cupboard and pod stocked with exactly what is needed.

For example, if Estates Teams say they always need three tins of white gloss paint on hand there always will be three tins of white gloss paint in the cupboard. Items will always be there for clinical teams with everything from syringes and plasters to the forms they need always stocked up.

This saves teams across NTW Solutions and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) huge amounts of time in stock ordering, receiving deliveries and putting items away because it is all handled centrally.

The Materials Management Team works closely with the teams they support to make sure there is always the right amount of stock in place so that there is never a situation where someone goes to get something in an emergency and it’s not there.

The system is all fully automated with handheld devices linked to the central ordering database and Tracey had a go at some product scanning. It’s a real example of a service that almost goes unnoticed but is central to keeping services running efficiently.