Press Release

Martin announces £4 million Hospital Bed Replacement Programme

Today, at the launch of Healthcare Materials Management Board policy document “Health Service Procurement Policy” the Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin TD, announced a major hospital bed replacement initiative.

Announcing the new initiative, the Minister said “Since becoming Minister for Health and Children I have become aware of the variation in quality in bed standards between different hospitals and care agencies. I am committed to ensuring that high quality beds will be available nationally, particularly in the areas of mental health care and care for older people. ”

The Minister also said, “This programme at a cost of £4 million will provide an opportunity to improve patient comfort, enhance health and safety standards while at the same time operating economies of scale and obtaining value for money through national contracting. It will commence immediately and I am confident that contracting arrangements will be in place by October.”

The Healthcare Materials Management Board which is representative of health boards/authority, voluntary agencies and the Department, was established as part of the recommendations of the Report of the Materials Management Advisory Group. The Board is supported by a General Manager and nine Regional Materials Managers. Its objective is to ensure that the materials management function is developed in line with best practice and that value for money can be achieved through the combined purchasing power of all health agencies in exploiting economies of scale and the use of national contracts.

The Minister said “Results in the form of efficiencies, value for money initiatives and national contracting must be delivered and in sufficient quantities to justify the resources in place. There is no room for complacency”.

Senior Health Agencies staff were joined at the launch by Mr Duncan Eaton, Chief Executive, NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and Ms Teresa Molloy, Director of the Regional Supplies Service, Northern Ireland.