10 March 2021

Regional health services praise State Supply Chain reliability

Health services in regional and rural Victoria have praised the reliability and efficiency of the State Supply Chain (SSC) established at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3M masks in boxes2

In April 2020 the Victorian Government centralised the ordering and distribution of Tier 1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Monash Health acted as the SSC by placing orders on behalf of the state, working with the Department of Health to establish and secure a centralised stock of Tier 1 and 2 PPE.

Key points:

  • Regional and rural health services have praised the COVID-19 State Supply Chain managed by Monash Health.
  • Monash Health acted as the SSC by placing orders on behalf of the state and managing the distribution of essential PPE to health services.

During the pandemic, Monash Health played a key role in successfully managing the distribution of essential PPE to health services. The centralised supply chain helped to ensure the ongoing availability of the items health services needed for their critical workforces and patients, with Monash Health acting as a single point of contact in an environment of increased demand and reduced supply of essential items.

At the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services was instrumental in supporting HSV’s work to source critical PPE, enabling clinical decisions to be made quickly.

Almost a year on, HSV Director Customer Engagement Alfred Matthews says the feedback highlights the effectiveness of a state-wide supply chain established with a collaborative approach.

“All parties shared a common objective and worked together to ensure clinical, logistical, approval, financial and customer demands were taken into account.

"They have shown how effective a collaborative approach can be - even in the most difficult of circumstances," he says.

HSV’s priority has been to support health services to maintain continuity of supply throughout the pandemic.

“Collaboration has been essential throughout this demanding time, especially when health services have been receiving goods from the SSC from manufacturers they may not have used before," Alfred says.

"HSV and Monash Health established quality assurance and product feedback processes quickly and HSV’s clinical product advisors have been available to answer any questions health services may have," he says.

Supply team members from Barwon Health, Seymour Health, Yarrawonga Health, West Gippsland Healthcare Group, South West Healthcare and Echuca Health have all shared positive feedback.

 Michelle Berry, Barwon Health’s Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, says the system has improved quickly.

 “We had a few issues in the first few months after it was introduced, but it certainly improved quickly and on balance the service has been very reliable,” Michelle says.

 “It’s efficient and easy – we place our order and receive stock within the timeframes advised. I can see backorders and I receive notification of deliveries the day before, so my team knows what to expect,” she says.

 Gail Fairbridge, Supply Storeperson from Seymour Health, has appreciated the helpful service that HSV and Monash Health provide.

 “They let you know if an order has been approved and when delivery day is expected, or if an item is on backorder. Sometimes you don’t always get the item brand that you ordered but we will receive an acceptable alternative. 

 “They did a great job to get it started and they are still doing a great job,” says Gail.

 Brandy Johnstone from Yarrawonga Health says stock routinely arrives within two to three days of orders being placed.

 “We have been happy with the efficient service received and can only praise the efforts of the team during such a demanding time,” says Brandy.

 For customer queries please contact a HSV Customer Relationship Manager or the Helpdesk at helpdesk@healthsharevic.org.au.