Who or what is the NHS Supply Chain?
NHS Supply Chain is the organisation which manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for NHS organisations across England and Wales.
NHS Supply Chain includes 11 specialist buying functions or “Category Towers”. Each of these manages specific product category or categories as follows:
How does NHS Supply Chain procure products and consumables?
NHS Supply Chain typically procures products and consumables via “frameworks”. Each framework covers a defined product set and time period.
Suppliers must submit a bid for their products to be listed on an NHS Supply Chain Framework. If their bid is successful, the supplier’s products are typically included in NHS Supply Chain’s online catalogue for the relevant product set. Inclusion in a framework is not usually a guarantee of business and sometimes only the top ranked supplier(s) are included in the catalogue for a specific product set.
End customers e.g. NHS Trusts, use the NHS Supply Chain catalogue to order products.
How to apply to a framework
Frameworks are listed on the NHS Supply Chain website within each category and the “Procurement and Savings” calendar shows when frameworks will be reopened or newly commissioned.
When a framework opens for new products to be listed, it will be advertised on Contracts Finder and new suppliers can submit a bid for their specific products to be accepted on the framework.
The application process typically requires bidders to complete detailed pricing schedules, provide details of quality standards, e.g. ISO standards and product regulation compliance, provide evidence of supplier agreements with manufacturers and supply chain resilience, submit product samples and provide evidence of financial standing.
Requirements will be stated in the Invitation to Tender. It is important to read this carefully and to begin the process of gathering all your information and evidence as quickly as possible to make sure you are ready to submit your application before the deadline.
If you would like help to make an application to list your products, please contact us using our contact form.