All Public Sector organisations have to abide by The Public Procurement Regulations 2006. This law relates to Procurement and is common to all European member states following the European Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC. These rules state the value that tenders must be advertised in Europe, the processes that are appropriate and the mandatory timescales.
Procurement in NHS Trusts is also governed by the individual Trust Standing Orders and Standing Financial Instructions, which dictate the value at which a quotation or tender process is required. All of these rules ensure that competition is fair and open, there is clear visibility of all processes to award contracts and that there is a competitive process followed to ensure value for money.
Tenders completed appropriately by other organisations via OJEU (the Official Journal of the European Union) may be able to be used by other individual organisations. This reduces the number of separate tenders required by each public sector organisation. The original tender will award to a chosen supplier/s for a specified requirement and these suppliers only can then be used without the requirement for a separate full tender by individual public bodies.
Trusts require a significant range of products and services and as such a variety of contract arrangements are in place:
- National framework agreements can be produced by government agencies such as the Crown Commercial Service. These are available for all government organisations to use or NHS Supply Chain who produce framework agreements or contracts that all NHS Trusts can use.
- National or regional framework agreements or contracts can be produced by individual or collaborative groups of public sector organisations. These can be limited to public sector organisations in a particular geographical location, specify one or more public sector, or be solely for named organisations.
- Local framework agreements or contracts can be produced by Procurement departments in each Trust or consortium for local use only. Shropshire Healthcare Procurement Service provides this contracting service for the three Shropshire NHS Trusts and arrangements can be made for a single Trust or for multiple Trusts.
- Occasionally ad-hoc requirements arise which require individual orders only.
How to Sell to the NHS in Shropshire
We are obliged to advertise all tenders that are at the specified level for European tendering in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), which can be accessed via the TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) website.
Tenders below this level may be advertised via OJEU or alternatively may be advertised in other websites or publications.
We currently use ADB Multiquote to manage all our Quotes and Tenders:-
MultiQuote is a web based information, sourcing and quotation tool designed and developed by ADB MultiQuote Limited. MultiQuote allows our buyers to quickly send a Request for Quotation (RFQ) enquiry to an ‘Internet Business Exchange’. Their system has been thoroughly examined and we believe offers our buyers the best solution to source products. We have approved the use of this e-business tool and believe it offers a much fairer platform for the purchasing process.
As a supplier, you only require an email address and Internet access to view the Request for Quotation. Registration and use of the system is free for suppliers.
We would urge you to consider the adoption of MultiQuote, as it promises tremendous efficiency benefits for both Public Sector purchasing and you as a supplier. I hope that you will be able to support us as we work together to make this a success.
It is most important that you register your company asap, along with your product or service category and keywords (for inclusion in the search engine). This can be done on-line at www.multiquote.com under the Suppliers/Registration section. Once registered you will receive a password to access the quotation requests and all quotation requests appertaining to your categories of supply will be forwarded to you. If you need any help or assistance, ADB MultiQuote can be contacted on 0151 482 9230 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procurement tenders follow the following basic process, although variations due to the different procedures can apply:
- Advertisement or Contract Notice (OJEU term).
This is when the requirement is advertised to all potential providers, and can be advertised through a variety of media.
- Expression of Interest
Suppliers should express an interest in bidding for the goods, services or works as advertised. This should be in accordance with the request made and any requested documents should be completed.
A process usually takes place to make a selection of the organisations from the expressions of interest received to take forward into the tender stage.
- Invitation to Tender
The tender documentation is issued to the selected organisations. The tenders must be returned in the specified manner and within the timescales requested.
An evaluation takes place of the offers made by each potential provider. This can include presentations, trials or reference site visits as well as the offer documents themselves.
A preferred bidder is chosen and all bidders are advised of the status of their bid. Debriefing can take place where requested. Contracts are subsequently completed and implementation actions are commenced.
Conditions of Contract
Contracts with the NHS will use NHS Conditions of Contract; there are various Conditions of Contract. Please see the gov website for more information on this.
- TED website
European level tenders can be accessed via Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website