Britain's expenditure regulating body has asked hospitals to pull up their socks regarding the wasteful expenditure of £500million annually on basic supplies.
Over the next four years, The National Health Service has to show savings to the tune of £20billion.
The National Audit Office has discovered that some health units are coughing up double the amount for basic supplies like medical equipment, clothing and dressing.
"And the range of similar products that trusts buy is sometimes so wide as to appear ridiculous: how can it be, for instance, that while one trust does its work with just 13 different types of surgical glove, another requires 177?
"These are well-known recipes for poor value for money that really ought to have been addressed by now."
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: "At least 10 per cent of hospitals' spending on consumables, amounting to some £500 million a year, could be saved if trusts got together to buy products in a more collaborative way.
"In the new NHS of constrained budgets, trust chief executives should consider procurement as a strategic priority. Given the scale of the potential savings which the NHS is currently failing to capture, we believe it is important to find effective ways to hold trusts directly to account to Parliament for their procurement practices."