Procurement volunteers help NHS source PPE

Over 20 people from the UKUPC consortia have volunteered their services to the NHS as procurement specialists during this COVID-19 pandemic.


One of the volunteers, Mandy Johnston MCIPS, who normally works for TUCO, which specialises in catering procurement, started her career in the NHS over twenty years ago before moving on to UCLan and then TUCO.  She says: "I used to carry out ward stock management, so I am familiar with some of the products I am sourcing."


As a case worker in the COVID-19 Emergency Supply Chain Response Team, she is being given a list of suppliers, agents, manufacturers and distributors to contact to see what PPE they have in stock or can access.  She is then collating the product information (lead times, quantities) along with certification, specifications, audits etc. She says: "This is all part of a process to help keep the end user as safe as possible during this very trying time."


Mandy has various members of her family working in the NHS, including her sister in an intensive care unit. She says: "Any help I can offer to the NHS at this time, is time well spent.  An applause each Thursday is great for all NHS and key workers, but I don’t think we could ever repay these ‘heroes’ who are helping so many people at this time. God bless them all."


Another volunteer, Jean-Claude Simba, Category Manager for Estates and Facilities at the University of East London is also part of the COVID-19 Emergency Supply Chain Response PPE Sourcing Team, working with both the Cabinet Office and NHS. His role involves the coordination of technical review of various PPE products, to ensure they meet the required standard and negotiate volume, offering and delivery lead time etc.  If the products meet the required standards, he then hands over to the closing team to finalise the procurement by placing orders. 


Jean-Claude says: "I’m proud to have offered my little contributions to the NHS and the wider economy to ensure we all can beat this virus. I’m also grateful to my employer and especially my manager for giving me the opportunity to be part of this."


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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash