How much does it cost to spend £35 billion?

I learned today that apparently the NHS spends approximately £35 billion across over 80,000 suppliers.

My first thought was to wonder how much is spent on managing this vast estate of vendors. What does it cost to spend £35 billion?

Whilst I obviously realise the scale and complexity of the NHS, and the very niche and specific kinds of products it will likely need (in addition to stationary and toilet paper!), I do still wonder if there really is a need for 80,000 suppliers… My guess would be probably not.

My final thought was to speculate on the scale of the saving that could be made by streamlining NHS PROCUREMENT . But then perhaps NHS procurement has been optimised to within an inch of its life and £35 billion across 80,000 suppliers is the “ultra thin digitally optimised” version of NHS Procurement?

Would be interesting to know…

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