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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde partners with Supplier Development Programme to diversify supply chain

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Scotland’s biggest health board has launched a new project designed to ensure greater diversity in its supply chains across the country.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and supported by the Health Foundation, will look to engage small businesses throughout the health board area to reach businesses owned and led by people from diverse backgrounds. The move will also support small businesses as they recover from the economic shock of the pandemic.

NHSGGC is the largest health board in Scotland and spends £660m with third-party providers. The work with the Supplier Development Programme aims to encourage a wider pool of suppliers, including more local SMEs, to become a part of its supply chain.

Chris Sanderson, Head of Procurement at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, said: “As Scotland’s biggest health board and a significant contributor to the local economy, we have a duty to ensure that our spending power brings greater benefits for all of our communities.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Supplier Development Programme, which actively supports community wealth building initiatives by providing crucial assistance to local businesses to bid for public sector contracts and supply chain opportunities.

“This will help us progress towards putting diversity at the core of NHSGCC’s supply chain to include businesses led by, for, and with people with protected characteristics. We want to understand what we can do to increase the potential for small and medium sized businesses across the board area to be more successful in bidding for upcoming contracts to contribute to the power of procurement.”

Gillian Cameron, Programme Manager, Supplier Development Programme said: “The Supplier Development Programme has long aspired to work closely with Scotland’s health boards to encourage local businesses to bid to supply goods and services. We saw during the pandemic just how important local businesses are in a supply chain.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the first to approach SDP and we are looking forward to identifying and supporting local and diverse suppliers who may have experienced barriers to bidding to consider becoming suppliers to Scotland’s public sector.”

As the largest Health Board in Scotland, NHSGGC spends £660m with third party providers.

Glasgow has one of the most diverse populations in Scotland. However, the need to strengthen inclusive organisational culture through procurement within the health board was identified in its recent Talent Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation. Procurement was identified as an area the health board wishes to improve on as part of its community wealth building plans.

Running from now until September 2022, NHSGGC will focus on increasing diversity within the supply chain, to include businesses led by, for, and with people with protected characteristics as defined by the Equalities Act Scotland & Fairer Scotland Duty. NHSGGC is also keen to encourage wider participation from all SMEs, and to further support small businesses beginning to get back on their feet after setbacks from the pandemic.

The project will be split into two stages. First, the analysis stage of the project will review existing supplier data, gather knowledge about the local SME base, and will seek to understand the diversity within the supplier base in the board’s local area.

This research will help form the second stage which will be the development of a SME engagement programme. The project will explore how supplier pathways can be enhanced and will identify what support suppliers need to become a part of NHSGGC’s supply chain and be tender ready to bid for up-and-coming contracts.

The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) will operationally manage the delivery of the project by organising a range of bespoke support, including tender training, bespoke supplier events, tools, and guidance. This training will upskill targeted businesses, preparing them to bid on future NHSGGC contract opportunities.

For further information, please visit the to register for a free account and sign up to upcoming training events with NHSGGC.

More information on the Health Foundation can be found online by visiting

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