Lord Carter’s report into efficiency and productivity in the NHS, published in 2015, identified unwarranted variation and inefficiencies in procurement across the NHS.

This supported the Department of Health and Social Care’s future operating model for NHS procurement, NHS Supply Chain.

The NHS Supply Chain has 11 specialist buying functions, known as Category Towers, delivering clinical consumables, capital medical equipment and non-medical products such as food and office solutions.

Benefits of the NHS Supply Chain model for:

NHS trusts

  • Savings channelled back to frontline services
  • More time released for core clinical activities
  • Greater NHS clinical involvement in purchasing decisions
  • More effective introduction of new products.


  • Lower sales and marketing costs
  • Single route into the national market
  • A joined-up approach across the NHS
  • Clear route for innovative products.

CPP is a Category Tower Service Provider for two of the Category Towers. These are:

As CPP is owned by four NHS trusts, any gainshare made goes straight back into the frontline.

The Category Tower contracts are managed by Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL), a limited company, wholly owned by the NHS Commissioning Board and NHS England (NHSE).

It is responsible for driving commercial objectives, managing the category towers and enabling services while overseeing continuous improvement.