Procurement: responding to COVID-19

30 June 2020


Procurement for healthcare is driven by quality and price, and increasingly by environmental impact. Procurement can stimulate innovation and efficiency in healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting global health product supply chains, affecting key materials and ingredients, finished health products, logistics, shipping and more. Procurement is critical to support frontline services to provide care to patients and service users. Procurement offices have been working under increasing pressure in order to manage the demand for essential goods to support the services through this crisis. For example, the global demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and other supplies is unprecedented. Innovation in procurement can bridge this gap as it is not only about innovation for innovation. It wants to help deliver what an organisation needs at the right time and at a price that is affordable if the market cannot provide that. How can Innovation Procurement (IP) concretely help in better addressing the COVID-19 challenge?


Ms Gaynor Whyles
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Ms Gaynor Whyles

Ms Gaynor Whyles

Ms Gaynor Whyles is Director of JERA Consulting; a UK based consultancy specialising in innovation, and is passionate about the role of innovation procurement in improving public services and stimulating economic opportunities. As an independent consultant in the field of innovation procurement for the UK Department for Business Innovation Skills (2005-2012) she was responsible for developing the Forward Commitment Procurement concept into a practical tool for innovation procurement. She has subsequently initiated, facilitated and managed a number of successful and award winning FCP demonstration projects in UK and Europe and provides expert advice and training in innovation procurement for a number of organisations.

Related initiatives include working with the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to develop joint public-­private low carbon procurement compacts, designed to demonstrate demand for low carbon goods and services and engage industry in dialogue with major customers.

Earlier in her career Gaynor worked as a policy analyst and manager of grant programmes for the UK Science and Engineering Research Council, the UK Research Councils European Office and the World Wide Fund for Nature.


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This webinar is organised by the EcoQUIP+ project. The project has received co-funding from the COSME programme of the European Union under grant agreement No 857790. Views and opinions are of the speakers and authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. The European Union is not liable for any use that might be made of the information contained in this page and publications.

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I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

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Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain