In the absence of detailed accounts, one can't know exactly what's going on, but one can at least check the website of Circle, who are providing the management. It tells us
£1.1m procurement savings banked. £1.6m identified this yearSo they've identified £1.6m savings on all procurement. It's surely impossible that the entire saving comes from the paper stationery budget. So how did this myth arise? Well, according to the BBC, Ali Parsa, Circle's chief executive, claimed that
the company had saved £1.6m by ordering the hospital's paper supplies differentlyand the Telegraph has him saying that
that on paper supplies alone they have saved £1.6 millionWhich, in an editorial in the same newspaper, becomes
simply changing the way stationery was ordered, for example, saved £1.6 millionFor one thing, "paper supplies" and "stationery" are not the same things. Hospitals use a lot of paper products - trays, bedpans, etc - for medical purposes. But, more importantly, I think there's been a mistake somewhere along the way: my guess is that an assistant fed Ali Parsa with an example of something they'd saved money on, and a figure for all savings identified, and by the time he came to talk to the press he'd joined the two together.