Procurement & bidding
The landscape of procurement is changing at an unprecedented pace; less than two years ago, the NHS was implementing the NHS Preferred Provider policy. Today, the Procurement Guide for Commissioners of NHS funded Services and the Health Bill emphasise the importance of procurement and competition, including with non NHS providers. The Court's approach to the procurement of services is also shifting, now insisting on compliance with procurement law and EU principles in situations where they may have been more relaxed only a few years ago. Separately, procuring authorities have evolved in the way they commission services, as they look to innovative service delivery solutions to meet their QIPP agenda.
These regulatory and legal changes in policy require the constant review of your service delivery and procurement solutions, particularly if they involve existing services and/or other procuring authorities and your key concern will be to ensure that you comply with the law and the guidance.
The Capsticks healthcare procurement team is one of the largest and most experienced in the country, with over 20 lawyers specialising in the design and delivery of public procurement, and its related commercial assessment, public law and challenges. Through our work with the Department of Heath, we can advise you on the latest policy and its implications on how to procure and manage your services. We have handled some of the most high profile, sensitive and complex healthcare procurements, through PPP, joint ventures, framework agreements clinical services contracting and other innovative structures, as well as working with clients to design robust processes to undertake their own procurements.
We recognise the need, once you have identified your preferred (and compliant) procurement process, for early identification and planning of public involvement and consultation requirements, and of potential staffing issues such as TUPE consultations, in order to ensure that your project timetable is not disrupted. This is all the more important in light of the competitive dialogue procedure and the implementation of the Remedies Directive, irrespective of which side of the table you are sitting.
- Reviewing procurement strategy and accreditation transaction support
- Advising on contracting, including contractual incentives and a rigorous service specification without compromising provider buy-in
- Managing the risk of challenge to procurement decisions, including rebuttal, redesign of processes, assessment of risk and, where necessary, the defence of court proceedings
- Advising on performance managing your contracts, including identifying mechanisms for poor performance, and dealing with disputes
- Enhancing the skills of your team through training and the provision of practical and effective procurement tools
- Advising on consultations, equality and health impact assessments and public procurement implications