May’s Viewpoint – You get what you pay for!

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“You get what you pay for!” – why the cheapest option is not always best in the long term. 

We know every industry is trying to save money, reduce costsBut what about in the healthcare industry – is the cheapest option always the best option for our patients? 

MySling – How nurse consultation could lead to a better procurement practice 

  • MySling lasting disposable slings are designed to be used by a patient for the entirety of their stay in hospital 
  • a typical disposable sling would be destroyed after being used once – so if a patient is lifted 4 or 5 times a day, 4 or 5 disposable slings would be used and destroyed. 
  • However, using the MySling lasting disposable sling, it will be used repeatedly with one patientSo, it would be used 4 or 5 times that day and then still be there the next day to be used by that patient again. 
  • If clinical staff were involved in the procurement process, they would be able to explain that with MySling, less slings would need to be usedSo, when looking at a tender document, the initial cost of the MySling product may be more expensive than purchasing the disposable ‘one-use’ slingHowever, with input from the clinical staff, the procurement team could understand how MySling will result in a cost saving over a period of time. 

Lisclare and Burmeier Nursing Beds – Cost vs Quality 

  • Our bed manufacturing partner Burgmeier build beds to lastThey stringently meet the latest bed standards required, but also put the safety and comfort of the patient over the cost of the main components 
  • One of our beds, being more durable and resilient than the typical nursing bed will last years longer and be more comfortable for the patient 
  • In a hospice or nursing home setting our Regia Partner Bed could be used as 2 separate beds in separate rooms for two patientsHowever, if the need arose for a partner bed, the two beds could be brought back together to allow couples to share a bed. 
  • This allows the facility to offer the luxury of sharing a bed but does not rely on additional products being bought in at additional costs. The product is already in situ and can be brought back together safely and easily when needed. 

Lenus Low Entry Bed – protecting the carer and the patient... 

  • The Lenus bed is the only bed on the market that meets the height standard for nursing care of 80cm.  
  • Buying a less expensive bed could save money to begin with, however imagine a care giver developing back care problems caused by providing care in a bed that is lower than the standard states 
  • If the carer had to take time off work because of their back care problems and looked for financial compensation, the difference in the cost between the Lenus bed and the cheaper alternative might not look so attractive anymore. 

The Royal College of Nursing believe strongly that involving specialist procurement nurses early in the procurement process results in more appropriate, comfortable equipment for the patient. It also ensures that the clinical staff have a say in the best product for them 

Reflecting this, the RCN started a campaign “Small changes, big differences” in 2015(https://www.rcn.org.uk/small-changes) What the campaign has shown after 5 years of Nursing Procurement Specialists being introduced in some trusts is that they have actually made savings at the same time as having a better-quality product. 

As my Granny always said, “you get what you pay for!.”  This statement has never been more important when considering the most important person, the patient, when buying the best equipment, considering safety, comfort and then cost. 

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