St Josephs' Hospice Academy Upgrade

Questions were answered by Nessa Wells, Site & Services Supervisor, St Joseph's Hospice, Liverpool

St Joseph’s Hospice is based in Thornton, on the outskirts of Liverpool. It was founded in 1974 to provide high quality end of life care for 25 patients, regardless of their faith.

In Autumn of 2011, St Joseph’s was awarded a Department of Health grant for £600,000 in order to upgrade the site and refit one of the buildings, creating ten en-suite rooms, specialist bariatric bathrooms with state-of-the-art spas, work-efficient kitchens, and living spaces which have been designed to be a ‘home from home’.

St Joseph’s trade on a number of IHP frameworks, including Infection Control, Janitorial, Office Supplies, Residential Furniture and Catering, amongst others. 

Why did you join IHP and how did you find out about them?

We were already Members with IHP when I first started working for St Joseph’s and had used them to make savings in many areas of our work.

What benefits did you gain from using IHP on this project?

Using IHP, you get a back-up service that you simply cannot get by procuring on your own. IHP give you security and the knowledge that that they will find solutions if things go wrong. You’re assured that you are using good suppliers offering excellent quality goods. It makes you review the suppliers that you have been using in the past and realise that you have to make changes in order to get the best.

How did IHP help St Joseph’s maximise the grants awarded to you?

Matthew Hanley, our IHP Account Manager, asked for a list of our requirements and sent specifications out to the suppliers. For example, with our furniture, the specs were initially sent to five suppliers and then whittled down to three. We then reviewed these remaining three and awarded the contract to Renray Healthcare. It was a very close-run thing to be honest – each of the suppliers was very helpful and answered all queries quickly and with minimum fuss and interruption to our working day. For every contract, IHP vetted the suppliers accordingly and helped us to decide which was our best option.

What savings do you think you made?

Because this is for a specific project, we had a set amount of monies allocated to the likes of furniture, office supplies, audio/visual equipment, but because IHP are able to procure at much better rates than we would do as a single hospice, we were able to get top quality products for exceptionally good prices – and get much longer warrantees on them. If we ask IHP for anything, they are very pro-active and respond immediately.

What would you say to other healthcare organisations that are considering becoming IHP Members?

Look at the opportunities there are; look at the time management; the savings – and the quality of the products. IHP is behind you all the time so you know you aren’t on your own. Matt Hanley and his team, Nicola Dunlop and Kayleigh Blackburn, are always there to offer advice and help, and you know that if there are any problems with anything, all you do is drop them an email or give them a call and they are on the case straight away. I know that when I call IHP with a problem I can safely leave it in their hands and they will sort everything out for me.

Another huge benefit is the convenience of Central Billing. This has given me total control over bills and payments, and complete consolidation. If there are any potential errors or disputes, the invoices are put on hold immediately until Central Billing is able to review and resolve the matter. Just having one bill each month makes life so much easier – you can automatically see if there are any anomalies and get things straight.