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.
NHS procurement frameworks
NHS procurement frameworks refer to established contractual agreements between the NHS and suppliers. These frameworks are designed to streamline the procurement process by prequalifying suppliers and establishing a set of terms and conditions for purchasing goods, services, or works.
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.
NHS Supplies: See our full NHS supply chain frameworks Service page.
*The NHS Supply Chain Catalogue is an online platform that contains a comprehensive list of products and services that the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom procures from suppliers. The NHS supplies catalogue provides a single source of information for NHS staff to access information about the products and services they need to provide care to patients. It includes a wide range of products and services, such as medical equipment, consumables, pharmaceuticals, and food and catering supplies. The catalogue is regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the latest products and services available in the market and to ensure that NHS staff have access to the most up-to-date information.