A 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 conducted by the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that unnecessary spending on consumables costs the NHS £500 million a year.
The biggest waste of funds was identified as on like-for-like items, which the NAO estimated was costing around £150 million more than was necessary.
To combat this, Barnsley Primary Care Trust has started reviewing what it spends on supplies to try and get better value for money, freeing up more funding for front-line services.
One area of saving the trust has identified is on tubular bandaging, which by replacing a leading product with an alternative, could free-up an estimated £18,000 a year.
Clinical adviser Lynne Hepworth, Lead Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist for Care Services NHS Barnsley, 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.”