Reporting Potential Supply Disruptions of Medical Equipment and Consumables

12 June, 2024

The NHS England has issued guidance on reporting potential supply disruptions of medical equipment and consumables. This document is crucial for ensuring that disruptions are managed effectively to minimise impacts on patient care.

This article summarises the key points from the guidance and outlines the reporting process and responsibilities for healthcare providers.


Supply disruptions of medical equipment and consumables can significantly affect patient care and service delivery. Early reporting of potential disruptions is essential to manage risks and implement mitigation strategies. The NHS England guidance provides a framework for healthcare providers to report and address these issues promptly.

Importance of Early Reporting

  • Risk Mitigation: Early identification and reporting of potential supply disruptions allow for timely intervention and development of contingency plans to mitigate risks.
  • Patient Safety: Ensuring the continuous availability of essential medical equipment and consumables is critical for maintaining patient safety and quality of care.

Key Reporting Procedures

  • Identification of Potential Disruptions: Healthcare providers should be vigilant in identifying potential supply disruptions. This includes monitoring stock levels, supplier communications, and any external factors that may impact supply chains.
  • Reporting Channels: Potential disruptions should be reported through designated channels as outlined by NHS England. This may include specific forms, email addresses, or online reporting systems.

Responsibilities of Healthcare Providers

  • Healthcare Organisations: Each organisation must have a designated lead responsible for monitoring and reporting potential supply disruptions. This lead should coordinate with procurement teams, clinical staff, and suppliers to gather relevant information.
  • Procurement Teams: Procurement teams play a crucial role in identifying potential disruptions early. They should maintain close communication with suppliers and monitor supply chain trends and issues.
  • Clinical Staff: Clinical staff should report any concerns about supply levels or quality of medical equipment and consumables to the designated lead within their organisation.

Action Steps for Reporting

  1. Gather Information: Collect detailed information about the potential disruption, including the type of equipment or consumables affected, expected duration of the disruption, and potential impact on patient care.
  2. Complete Reporting Form: Use the designated reporting form or system provided by NHS England to submit the information. Ensure all required fields are completed accurately.
  3. Submit Report: Send the completed report through the appropriate channels as specified in the guidance.
  4. Implement Mitigation Strategies: Work with relevant teams to develop and implement strategies to manage the impact of the disruption. This may include identifying alternative suppliers, adjusting inventory levels, or modifying clinical protocols.

Supporting Resources

  • NHS Supply Chain: Engage with the NHS Supply Chain for additional support and resources in managing supply disruptions. They can provide guidance on alternative products and suppliers.
  • Communication with Suppliers: Maintain open lines of communication with suppliers to stay informed about potential disruptions and mitigation options.


Effective reporting of potential supply disruptions of medical equipment and consumables is essential for maintaining patient safety and service continuity. By following the NHS England guidance, healthcare providers can proactively manage these disruptions and ensure that patient care remains uninterrupted.


Read more: NHS England » Reporting potential supply disruptions of medical equipment and consumables

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