In a bid to beat the current economic downturn, GP organisations have been acquiring large discounts on medical supplies through the use of buying groups, it has been revealed.
Local Medical Committees (LMCs) allow practice managers to make savings through bulk buying on such items as vaccines, medical equipment and office stationary, as well as energy bills and locum insurance.
Any GPs in areas covered by LMCs can take advantage of the buying groups, which have been planning to create their own national federation with the aim of increasing collective buying power in the future.
One practice in the Mansfield area reportedly saved around £2,500 on its bill for medical consumables and stationary after securing 25% savings for its annual order.
Secretary of Nottinghamshire LMC, Chris Locke, who pioneered the plan in the East Midlands, said the initiative was much needed as the credit crunch continues to effect prices and budgets.
He told Pulse: "GPs have had no contract uplift for three years, and the prospects are looking quite gloomy for the DDRB this year. Against the backdrop of the credit crunch, it behoves practices to look at how it operates, how you can save money and reduce expenditure."