University of Reading research could help save NHS £500 million
Release Date 03 February 2011
Innovative software jointly developed by the University of Reading has the potential to save the NHS millions of pounds by improving the way it buys everyday supplies.
This week, a National Audit Office report on 61 hospitals in England calculated that through more efficient buying procedures and by using the power of bulk orders, NHS trusts could save at least £500m per year out of their current £4.6 billion consumables expenditure.
The SpendInsight technology has been developed by three coupled Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects with Systems Engineering at Reading, Goldsmiths at the University of London and @UK plc, a leading electronic marketplace provider.
SpendInsight applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to enable NHS trusts to efficiently re-order basic supplies based on analysis of what they already use. The technology analyses existing procurement data and reveals areas of overspend, maverick spending and opportunities for making significant cost spending savings. The National Audit Office used @UK plc as consultants in compiling its report.
Dr Richard Mitchell, of the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading, said: "Our School has an outstanding record in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships over 20 years, but this particular three-year project is perhaps the most significant in terms of impact - leading to a potential saving to the NHS of £500 million. The University of Reading was responsible for two of the three parts of the overall project and led to PhD degrees for Reading students Paul Roberts and Matt Brown, supervised by myself, Virginie Ruiz, Slawomir Nasuto and Victor Becerra.
"Although SpendInsight has been used to highlight potentially huge savings in the NHS, its use is more generic and it can be used in national and local government, education and beyond."
For more information please contact Rona Cheeseman, press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
These Partnerships received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP) and funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ERPSC). KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with the other government funding organisations.
The School of Systems Engineering has a unique mix of skills in information technology, computer science, cybernetics, electronic engineering, embedded systems, robotics, communications, feedback and control. It is grounded in firm scientific and engineering principles, and is well placed to develop and exploit the emerging technologies that will play a key role in wealth creation and in defining the way society both works, and plays, well into this new Millennium.