Bid for NHS contracts in Yorkshire & Humber

Yorkshire Forward is helping SMEs to bid for local NHS contracts. Currently, the NHS in Yorkshire & Humber spends 38% of its procurement budget with local companies, and we want to increase that figure. We’re helping to dispel the myth that buying locally is more expensive, and helping to save the NHS money which can be redirected into health care. 

Who is working on this?

The NHS Yorkshire and the Humber Commercial Procurement Collaborative (YHCPC) has joined forces with Yorkshire Forward to create a unique type of partnership. We’re working with hospitals and primary care trusts, local businesses and business advisors to develop local networks and help SMEs increase their chances of winning NHS contracts. 

The YHCPC was established in April 2007 to focus procurement within the NHS community in the region. It is working across a wide range of procurement projects with the aim of delivering value to the sum of £26m over 3 years. Its work focuses on procurement for health-care service improvements and medical/non-medical goods and services sourced from outside of the NHS, and works with NHS organisations in the region to offer a one-stop collaborative approach to procurement. 

YHCPC was a finalist in the GO Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2008 and was shortlisted for the prestigious HSJ Awards 2008 in the Good Corporate Citizen category. 

Why are we doing this?

By keeping more of the NHS’ suppliers within the region, we’re helping to keep money circulating within the Yorkshire & Humber economy. We’re also creating and securing jobs,  developing skills and ultimately benefiting the health of local people—by directing savings back into the health service. 

Why the NHS?

The NHS is the UK’s largest employer and spends more than £1.8bn a year on goods and services in Yorkshire & Humber. The NHS has massive spending power: on food alone, it spends more than any other public-sector organisation in Europe. If we can increase by just 1% each year the number of NHS contracts within our region which buy from local businesses, we will see millions of pounds remaining in the regional economy. 

What are we doing?

We have set up an initiative called Growing the Region’s Businesses with NHS Investment (GRBNI) and are currently piloting two projects within that. Both are in Barnsley: one focuses on the supply of foods such as milk, bread, sandwiches, meat and poultry, and the second is based around recycling. As well as encouraging local businesses to take part, YHCPC is promoting the initiative within the NHS through training and awareness-raising sessions. 

  • Working with the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire & Humber (also supported by Yorkshire Forward), the YHCPC managed the tendering process between local suppliers and three NHS hospitals. They also held several Meet the Buyer events, where prospective bidders could find out more about contracts available and how to bid for them. A spin-off benefit is that food supplies now have less distance to travel, thereby reducing carbon emissions
  • A waste-management project has started at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with the support of Recycling Action Yorkshire (also supported by Yorkshire Forward). The project recycles the usual wood, plastics, cardboard and paper as well as fluorescent tubes, furniture and clinical waste, using 6 local suppliers.