• Back to the future? A theoretically inspired musing on the concept of Product Stewardship and its implications for Corporate and Social Responsibility

      Breen, Liz; Xie, Y.; Cherrett, T. (2015-09)
      The concept of corporate and social responsibility (CSR) has gained increasing momentum and importance in business operations today and companies have globally responded to this philosophy. To what end though? Product Stewardship (PS) and the corporate, social and environmental responsibilities associated within this term are a key part of a business’s CSR agenda. In the extant literature, it is a challenge to clearly identify the boundaries of responsibility for PS - who sets these boundaries for governance and what are the actions taken under the guise of PS. This paper aims to start the process of demystification in responding to the title of this work, stimulate further musings and outline a future research agenda.
    • Boxed up and locked up, safe and tight! Making the case for unattended electronic locker bank logistics for an innovative solution to NHS hospital supplies (UK)

      Bailey, G.; Cherrett, T.; Waterson, B.; Breen, Liz; Long, R. (2015)
      The lack of separation between urgent and non-urgent medical goods encourages sub-optimal vehicle fleet operations owing to the time critical nature of urgent items. An unattended electronic locker bank, to which individual urgent items can be delivered thereby separating urgent and non-urgent supply, was proposed for the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK. This concept was quantified using ‘basic’ and ‘intuitive’ hill climbing optimisation models; and qualitatively using staff interviews and expert reviews. Results indicated that a locker bank with a fixed height (1.7 m) and depth (0.8 m) required a length of 4 m (basic model) and 3.63 m (intuitive model), to accommodate 100% of urgent consignments for a typical week. Staff interviews indicated the wider benefits such as staff personal deliveries.
    • Breaking ‘Smart’ New Ground: A preliminary assessment of the uptake and use of Smart Technologies in NHS Hospital Pharmacies (UK).

      Breen, Liz; Xie, Y.; Cherrett, T.; Bailey, G. (2014-09)
      Medicines management is only one part of NHS (UK) procurement and management, but essentially a very expensive part. According to the Commercial Medicines Unit (Department of Health, 2013), NHS hospitals in England currently spend around £3.6 billion annually on pharmaceuticals, having risen from £2.2. billion in 2005. The NHS continuously strives to promote excellence in what it does and justify how it does it. In undertaking this preliminary analysis 45 pharmacy staff members contributed to an online survey. The results presented a broad mix of views on how smart technology (e.g. iPhone, iPad) could be used and if it should be used at all in this setting. The outcome of this small scale study demonstrates the lack of knowledge as to if and how such technologies could be used in hospital pharmacy and therefore present grounds for testing out the broader application of smart technology via academic and practitioner consultations.
    • An exploratory study of reverse exchange systems used for medical devices in the UK National Health Service (NHS)

      Xie, Y.; Breen, Liz; Cherrett, T.; Zheng, D.; Allen, C.J.
      Purpose This study aims to provide insights into the scale and use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in managing medical devices in the NHS, with a focus on Reverse Exchange (RE) systems, as part of the broader Reverse Logistics (RL) systems, within which medical devices are returned and exchanged. Design/Methodology/Approach Two case studies were conducted with NHS Hospital Trusts, while another was built upon secondary resources. Primary findings were triangulated with information collected from the NHS Trusts’ reports, direct observation and a preliminary round of consultations with 12 healthcare professionals working in other NHS Trusts or Integrated Equipment Community Services. Findings The findings suggest that the sophistication of ICT implementation increases with the risks and value associated with medical devices. Operational attributes are derived from ICT implementations which can positively impact on RE performance. The forces that drive the adoption of ICT in the NHS include pressure from government, business partners and patients, competitive pressure, perceived benefits, organisation size, top management support and the availability of sufficient resources. Obstacles are mainly centred around the lack of sufficient resource. Research limitations/implications Although the Trusts that participated in this research are representative of different regions, the generalisation of the study results may be limited by the size of the sample organisations, so the results can only provide insights into the research problem. As this work is exploratory in nature, there is insufficient data on which to form definitive recommendations. Practical implications NHS Trusts may use the 6 operational attributes identified and verified by the case studies to benchmark their ICT implementation for device management. The actual and potential benefits of ICT implementation could inform technology development and encourage the uptake of ICT in healthcare. Governmental bodies can utilise this information to develop directives to actively drive ICT adoption in device management and the associated RE system. A well-considered training programme is needed to improve staff ICT skills in order to fully realise the potential of ICT systems which support the effective RE of medical devices. Originality/value The results suggest that ICT supported reverse exchange of medical devices backs up the supply chain reduces capital costs and medical risks and, facilitates the redeployment of funds to frontline medical treatment.
    • Where are you? A preliminary examination of the track and trace mechanisms in place to facilitate effective closed-loop medical equipment retrieval in the National Health Service (NHS) (UK)

      Breen, Liz; Xie, Y.; Cherrett, T. (2016-09)
      The National Health Service (UK) is wholly accountable and heavily scrutinised for its strategy, activity, performance and spending (Appleby, 2016; NHS Confederation, 2016; Parliament UK, 2010), and much research has been undertaken as to its effectiveness at managing its operations and its competency in doing so (Gov.Uk, 2016; National Audit Office, 1999)). The impact of not performing adequately combined with threats such as funding cuts (King’s Fund, 2016), government intervention and private sector competition; has led to uncertainty and disillusion with the sustainability of the service (Hunter, 2016). Based on current economic concerns, this paper chooses to focus on the area of Medical Equipment Loans Services where products are released to patients to aid therapeutic rehabilitation and physical mobility. The aim of this study is to examine the process of product retrieval in a multi-case study analysis and consider how value-added technologies can be used to improve retrieval success rates.