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The Queen’s Speech, December 2019

18 December 2019 saw the delivery of the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, setting out the new Government’s agenda. Here, we take a look at some of the elements of proposed legislation that are of most relevance to BiP Solutions’ customers.

The UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 January was a priority, with a total of seven separate points of legislation covering different aspects of Brexit discussed. The proposed legislation covers areas agriculture, fisheries, combating “unfair trading practices” and aiming for stability in financial services. The Department for Exiting the EU itself will be dissolved on 31 January, with some of its functions rolled into the Department for International Trade.

Healthcare is another key area of focus, with legislation being introduced to enshrine a £33.9bn increase in NHS funding by 2023/4. The Mental Health Act will also be reformed, and a Medicines and Medical Devices Bill aims to deliver faster patient access to medical innovations, simultaneously supporting the growth of this area in the UK.

Sustainability and environmental damage are also mentioned, with an Environment Bill establishing a new Office for Environmental Protection, introducing charges for specific single-use plastics, and banning exports of plastic waste to non-OECD countries. This will necessitate the development of capacity to process this waste in the UK, meaning there will need to be investment and development of the relevant infrastructure.

Infrastructure was much discussed during the campaign for the recent election, and it receives specific attention in the Queen’s Speech too, with commitment to a National Infrastructure Strategy that will outline how investiture in public services and infrastructure will be achieved while keeping government borrowing and debt under control. There will also be a move to improve broadband provision, with legislation facilitating the installation of digital infrastructure. You can read more about the implications of the Speech for the construction industry at Construction Online.

Finally, there were many announcements made in defence and security, ranging from new legislation covering espionage to prisoner sentencing. Possibly the major announcement in this area for businesses is the commitment to spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defence. Defence Online has covered this in more detail.

The text of the Queen’s Speech is available here while the Government’s briefing notes covering the proposed bills are here.

UK General Election 2019: What Next?

The General Election of 12 December 2019 gave the Conservative party a comfortable majority, meaning that the Government will likely find it easy to introduce the legislation and changes to public spending that they wish. Here, we review what we know so far about the pledges the Government made before the election, and the effect they are likely to have for business with the public sector.

As the situation continues to develop, the BiP Solutions news page will bring you the latest updates, and what they mean for public procurement.

Spending pledges

Incumbent Chancellor Sajid Javid has proposed revision of the rules concerning government borrowing, to allow borrowing so long as debt does not exceed 3% of GDP, rather than 2%. This allows for potentially dramatically greater spending. The Conservatives’ election manifesto pledges were costed at an increase in spending of £2.9bn a year by 2022. The NHS has also been a major source of discussion, with a proposed bill enshrining an increase in funding for the NHS, alongside the pledge to recruit thousands more nurses. Similarly, the Conservatives have pledged to recruit more police officers. Such recruitment would mean, for example, a greater requirement for uniforms, catering, facilities management, payroll and HR solutions and other services. Investment into people usually requires investment into infrastructure – for example new buildings or the renovation and re-fit of existing premises – which in turn drives a fresh cycle of investment into furniture, IT equipment and other goods.

Infrastructure is another potential major source of investment, with the Conservative manifesto allowing for up to £100bn in additional capital spending over the next five years. Of this amount, £22bn has been designated for specific projects, such as £2bn on fixing potholes and £2.2bn on a public sector carbon reduction scheme. £78bn of the infrastructure fund remains to be allocated. You can read more about the outcome of the election and what it means for the construction industry at Construction Online.

On tax, the Conservative manifesto pledges to raise the national insurance threshold to £9500 from next year, and that there will be no rises in rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT. There is also a reaffirmation of the party’s pledge to make the UK a carbon-neutral country by 2050, with the attendant spending on renewable energy and associated technology. More speculatively, there have also been discussions of reforming central government departments such as the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. To read more about the outcomes of the election for the MoD and the defence industry, visit Defence Online.

To read more about key trends for public procurement in the wake of the general election, download our recent report, ‘The Public Sector Market in 2020 and Beyond.’ Published ahead of the election, this report includes detailed breakdown of data relating to public sector notices before and after election periods, and describes the major themes that will shape public procurement in 2020.

Brexit confirmed?

The Conservatives’ election victory also appears to reduce some of the uncertainty around Brexit. The Government will seek to implement the Withdrawal Agreement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously negotiated with the EU, ahead of 31 January. The Conservative party has previously stated that the terms of a trade deal with the EU will be negotiated in 2020, with the aim that the UK trades outside of the EU single market and any form of customs union. The Cabinet Office has suggested a divergence of procurement rules from EU standards post-Brexit, with the aim of making it simpler for smaller firms to bid for local government contracts. Such changes may be dependent, however, on the terms of the future trading relationship with the EU, and the required alignment of terms.

During the transition period, the UK will remain aligned with EU rules. The Conservative party have previously stated that there will be no extension to the transition period beyond the end of 2020, and the Prime Minister will potentially modify the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to enshrine this in law. The date of the end of the transition period is significant as, in spite of the most recent Brexit extension up to 31 January 2020, trade regulations effectively replicating a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will remain the legal default unless a trade agreement superseding this is ratified by both the EU and the UK Parliament. This remains the case in spite of the Withdrawal Agreement previously negotiated with the EU.

For all the latest news, guidance and information relating to Brexit and public procurement, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated Brexit resources page. Alongside guidance on how businesses can best prepare for a ‘no-deal Brexit’, our recent report ‘Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Sector Buyers’ is also available. Based on a detailed survey of public sector procurement leaders, this research report reveals what the public sector really thinks of Brexit, and how prepared the public sector is – including for a ‘no-deal’ outcome.

New research reveals scale of public sector Brexit concerns

With the European Union having confirmed a delay to the UK’s departure from the EU, 31 October no longer marks ‘exit day.’ The so-called ‘flextension’ defers Brexit until the end of January, unless a deal is ratified before then. With the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement accepted in principle by Parliament, and an upcoming UK general election, the coming months will prove to be another crucial period in shaping precisely what form Brexit takes, and on what date the UK is no longer an EU member.

Against this backdrop, we are excited to reveal the results of our latest research survey, ‘Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Sector Buyers.’ This research project surveyed procurement leaders from throughout the public sector – from local and central government and the NHS to higher education and housing associations – for their predictions, concerns and aspirations around what effects Brexit will have on UK public procurement.

Ahead of our full key findings report, to be released soon, some of the survey’s headline statistics are below:

  • 58% of respondents feel that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will have a worse effect on their procurement strategies than Brexit under the terms of a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – with over half of this 58% suggesting the effect will be “significantly worse.” However, 31% of respondents believe that in terms of procurement, there will be no difference between a Brexit with or without a negotiated deal.

  • 45% of organisations say they still have no defined Brexit strategy in terms of supply chain management, with 61% of all respondents not currently having a strategy for a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

  • The most significant effect of Brexit for the public sector is believed to be the ability to control costs, with 66% of participants in our survey suggesting there will be either a high or medium impact in this area.

  • 61% of respondents are concerned about post-Brexit supply chain disruption affecting the delivery and quality of services.

  • A full 40% of respondents believe that Brexit will have little or no impact on their ability to engage with suppliers based outside the UK, and only 25% of buyers say they are concerned about their ability to engage with EU-based suppliers in future.

Our full survey report, detailing further findings and respondents’ profiles, will be available soon.

Visit www.bipsolutions.com/brexit to read all the latest updates, resources and guidance for what Brexit means for procurement. As the situation develops, BiP Solutions will continue to monitor the latest intelligence to provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance on the implications of Brexit on procurement, up to and beyond ‘exit day.’

The Queen’s Speech, October 2019

Yesterday saw the Queen’s Speech mark the opening of a new session of Parliament. While the UK’s departure from the EU, and precisely what the terms of this might be, are inevitably at the forefront of discussion, several other key points affecting various sectors were also addressed. The Government’s proposed measures surrounding criminal justice have generated the most headlines, but away from the newspapers, the proposed Serious Violence Bill would affect many areas of the public sector. The Bill would develop a local approach to tackling violent crime through sharing relevant data and information between organisations across local government, education, social services, healthcare and the criminal justice system. As ever, effective technology and data across the public sector would be central to this.

The Speech also included mention of several documents the Government aims to publish later in the year or in 2020, including the National Infrastructure Strategy and a whitepaper on devolution in England with the aim of stimulating regional growth. Here, we consider some of the other major announcements in the areas of most interest to BiP’s customers.

Healthcare

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly stressing the importance of the NHS recently, it is unsurprising that healthcare was one of the key areas addressed in the Queen’s Speech. The Speech stressed a commitment to implementing the NHS Long Term Plan, as well as revisions to the provision of social care and mental health services. Also announced was the establishment of the Health Service Safety Investigation Body, a world-first independent tasked with investigating incidents that occur during the provision of NHS services that have, or may have, implications for the safety of patients.

You can read more about the implications of the Queen’s Speech for the healthcare sector on Health Online, our dedicated healthcare community and news site.

Technology

In addition to as-yet unspecified legislation to “roll out gigabit-capable broadband across the UK” with the aim of “boosting productivity” and “driving innovation in our public services”, the Queen’s Speech stressed the Government’s commitment to “establishing the United Kingdom as a world-leader in scientific capability and space technology.” As well as to-be-confirmed plans to boost public research and development (R&D) funding – going towards a stated aim for 2.4% of GDP to be spent on R&D by 2027 – the Government has pledged the establishment of a new National Space Council and the launch of a comprehensive UK Space Strategy. Further details about the MOD’s current planned space programme have been covered by Defence Online here and here.  The Government has also stated that a new fast-track immigration scheme for world-leading scientists and researchers will help significantly enhance the intellectual and knowledge base of the UK. How this will fit alongside the Government’s wider immigration reforms and strategy will be clarified.

Environmental impact

The proposed Environment Bill would introduce “legally-binding targets” and “mandatory biodiversity protections,” which would ensure that construction projects, including new housing, is not build at the expense of biodiversity – as demonstrated by previous projects such as Highways England’s recent A66 project and the review of the deforestation that could be caused by HS2. Further measures would include looking at air and water quality, single-use plastic and effective recycling and litter reduction. These measures further demonstrate the importance of sustainable practices throughout business.

New monthly BiP Inform report series covers major market trends

BiP Solutions are proud to launch the first in our new series of BiP Inform monthly market monitor spend analysis reports. The first report, a Healthcare market trends update, covers the NHS and the wider healthcare sector.

Each month, these reports will focus on a specific area of public sector spend, analysing which organisations are spending the most, and with which suppliers. Drawing on data from BiP Solutions’ Tracker Market Intelligence tool, home to Europe’s largest database of public sector tenders and awards, our reports will detail the organisations with the highest spend during the month in question; the suppliers who have won the most and the largest contracts; the regions of the country that award the most contracts and their total combined value; and more.

Key highlights from our Healthcare report, covering data from July 2019, include:

  • Total NHS spend during this period was just over £1.6 billion
  • 663 notices were published, with a further 535 contracts awarded
  • One NHS organisation, Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, is responsible for just shy of 40% of all contracts awarded during this period
  • The top buying organisation during this period had a combined awards value of £500 million

BiP Solutions offer a number of other ways to stay informed about the latest updates and trends in the healthcare market, including Health Online, our dynamic online healthcare community. Offering a personalised experience allowing each user to select their areas of interest, Health Online allows users to stay up-to-date with the latest healthcare news as well as network with other healthcare professionals. In addition, BiP Solutions’ P4H (Procurement for Health) series of events bring together leaders from throughout healthcare procurement for keynote talks, skills training workshops and more, as well as supplier networking opportunities.

To find out more about the latest healthcare market trends, download your complimentary copy of the full report here. Further reports covering areas such as local and central government will be published in forthcoming months, allowing you to keep up-to-date with the latest figures.

New healthcare market report: Beyond Collaboration and Transformation

Over £1 billion is spent every three days in the NHS. However, it can be a daunting and complex system to navigate when it comes to procurement. While there is a huge opportunity for procurement professionals, it’s important for both buying and supplying organisations to ensure they’re working together in the most efficient and effective way possible.

To help both NHS professionals and suppliers understand the healthcare procurement market in greater depth, BiP Solutions is pleased to announce Health Online’s latest market report, Current Trends in Healthcare Procurement: Beyond Collaboration and Transformation. Following the recent P4H England 2019 event, which took place at Birmingham’s NEC on 4 July, the report includes expert analysis and comment from procurement leaders who spoke at P4H on some of the major questions for contemporary healthcare procurement:

Collaboration across the NHS: what impact does the tension between centralised directives and devolved decision-making have on healthcare procurement, and how can trusts work together to cut costs while delivering on clinical requirements?

The buyer-supplier relationship: how do trusts ensure their frameworks are fit for purpose and attract the best supplier talent, while also ensuring that suppliers deliver to the terms of the contract?

Transformation: what is the relationship between large-scale, centralised transformation projects such as the new operating model for NHS Supply Chain, and continuous improvement at trust level?

Health Online is a new online community  bringing together NHS professionals and commercial partners from the world of healthcare. Offering the latest news covering all aspects of healthcare, features from thought leaders and media display opportunities, Health Online is a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything happening in healthcare today. Health Online Sales Director Sam Gilding said:

Our ambition is for Health Online to become the default social community for professionals to network, share ideas and build long lasting relationships in this key marketplace.”

This exclusive report also includes

  • the results of Health Online’s recent ‘Impact of Procurement in Healthcare’ research survey, revealing what healthcare procurement leaders think about the challenges and opportunities currently facing them
  • analysis of the highest-spending NHS organisations in the NHS, and their key areas of spend
  • a full review of the P4H England event
  • and more.

To download a full copy of the report, or to register with Health Online and keep up with all the latest NHS and healthcare news, click here.

Transforming healthcare procurement at P4H England

The UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, P4H England, returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 4 July 2019. The event welcomed over 1500 delegates from the NHS, the wider healthcare sector and the private sector supply chain, with a packed schedule including keynote talks, training and knowledge exchange sessions, and many opportunities for buyers and suppliers to meet and discuss their needs.

Many of the day’s sessions had standing room only, demonstrating both the quality of the talks on offer and the enthusiasm of the P4H audience.

You can see some of the day’s highlights here, and read more below:

Keynote Arena

The Keynote Arena witnessed a plethora of talks from procurement leaders from throughout the healthcare sector, as well as a motivational lecture from world-famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Chair Glen Hodgson kicked off the day by suggesting that “our job today is to avoid the noise and think strategically – focusing on the great work done by colleagues to make the NHS safe.” Stephen Foulser, Customer Engagement Director at NHS Supply Chain, delivered the first talk of the day, reflecting on a year of the new NHS Supply Chain Operating Model. Next up, Michael Pace, Managing Director of Corporate Services at the NHS London Procurement Partnership, stressed the importance of collaborative work to efficient procurement. Mr Pace said that despite the huge changes that have come to bear on NHS procurement over the last 12 months, and what he understands as areas where improvements still need to be made, there was much to be positive about.

“I’m more excited by the opportunities in front of me than I ever have been as an NHS procurement professional before.” – Michael Pace, Managing Director, Corporate Services, NHS London Procurement Partnership

Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ lecture proved to be the day’s main draw for many attendees, with delegates queueing several rows back from the Keynote Arena to hear about the explorer’s experiences over more than 50 years across Oman, the River Nile, Vancouver, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Sir Ranulph emphasised the importance of teamwork, framing all his expeditions as the achievements of a dedicated team. Aside from the focus on collaboration, the relevance of Sir Ranulph’s talk to a healthcare audience was made obvious through his sharing of several graphic photos detailing the after-effects of severe frostbite!

ranulph-fiennes-p4h-england

Sir Ranulph Fiennes delivers his keynote lecture

The afternoon at the Keynote Arena was equally busy, with talks including Pia Larsen, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at University College London NHS Foundation Trust, delivering a detailed case study of what transforming procurement at a particular trust looks like. The theme of asking what ‘collaboration’ looks like, and how it can change NHS procurement, continued with two talks about the experience in different parts of Greater Manchester, from Neil Hind, Procurement Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and Joe Lever, Group Procurement Director at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The final keynote talk of the day saw Tom Wynne, Head of Procurement for London at NHS Improvement, talking about the forthcoming Procurement Target Operating Model, allowing delegates to see some of the ways in which NHS procurement is set to be reshaped in the coming months and years.

Market Support and Engagement Zone

The Market Support and Engagement Zone at P4H England 2019 allowed suppliers to understand how they could best engage earlier with buyers across the NHS and beyond. Teams representing Tracker, Supply2Gov, Cyber Essentials and Market Engagement heard first-hand about some of the challenges faced by the private sector and were able to offer expert advice on how to leverage best-in-class tools to improve tender win rates and identify strategic business opportunities. Delegates were also able to visit the on-stand juice blend bar, which proved unsurprisingly popular on a very warm day!

“We’d like to say a massive thank-you to Tru Foo, our juice suppliers, for keeping us and the delegates refreshed throughout the day. We had some really insightful conversations with suppliers looking to increase their visibility in the public sector market, and we hope that each of them left the stand with actionable information that helps them grow their business in this market.” – Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing, BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions customers were also offered exclusive access to the VIP lounge, providing a quiet space throughout the day to catch up with colleagues and emails, enjoy refreshments and attend several VIP-only talks.

Health Online

As the official media partner of P4H, Health Online was proud to be represented at the event. Interest in Health Online’s dedicated online healthcare community proved high, with a talk from Health Online Sales Manager Soafyaan Zia seeing delegates literally queueing out of the door to attend! You can learn more via Health Online’s own P4H review.

Soafyaan Zia delivering a talk on Health Online at P4H England

Soafyaan Zia’s talk introduced delegates to Health Online

What’s next?

Scotland’s and Wales’ procurement communities will come together later this year at Procurex Scotland on 29 October in Glasgow and Procurex Wales on 7 November in Cardiff. Register today or learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

There’s also still time to enter your procurement team or project for the prestigious GO Awards, with presentation ceremonies taking place on the evenings of Procurex Scotland and Procurex Wales. Share your procurement success stories here!

Introducing Health Online – a new, dynamic healthcare community

BiP Solutions is proud to announce the launch of a new online community – Health Online.

Health Online is the latest way in which BiP assists both buyers and suppliers in their procurement journey – focusing specifically on the UK healthcare industry. Sitting within BiP’s Media & Marketing Solutions division, Health Online is designed for early engagement within both the public and private sector.

Providing the latest news on all areas of interest to healthcare buyers and suppliers, from accommodation and administration to vehicles and water, Health Online offers a unique, bespoke experience to each user. The site allows you to tailor your interests so that you see more of what you want to see – and less of what is less interesting to you. Whether it’s the latest news on medical equipment, pharmaceuticals or NHS recruitment, Health Online can keep you updated on it all, highlighting the areas that you care about.

Health Online also allows healthcare professionals and respected commercial suppliers to share news, trade ideas and build connections. It helps commercial suppliers to gain exposure within an ever-evolving marketplace that spends over £1bn every 3 days, by providing a wide portfolio of marketing and advertising tools – enabling suppliers to increase brand awareness and generate opportunities within the sector. For healthcare professionals, Health Online provides a platform for exposure among your peers, by offering the possibility of uploading your own features and examples of best practice, as well as enabling you to contribute to discussions created by others.

Sam Gilding, Director of Media & Marketing Solutions, said:

We’re really excited to bring to market this fresh and innovative approach to buyer/supplier engagement in the healthcare industry. Our ambition is for Health Online to become the default social community for professionals to network, share ideas and build long lasting relationships in this key marketplace. BiP Solutions are committed to supporting best-in-class procurement processes across UK healthcare, and our development of Health Online helps to facilitate this.

To learn more about Health Online and register your profile, visit www.healthonline-uk.com.

BiP Solutions offers a suite of digital solutions to bring together buyers and suppliers, from sector-specific data communities to the most comprehensive source of tender notifications in the UK. To learn more, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

UK National GO Awards 2019/20

Celebrating the best in public procurement from across the UK, this year’s National GO Awards took place on 30th April at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham.  The event brought together winners from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last 12 months with new entrants for a night of festivities and sharing of best practice, leadership and innovation.

The glittering black-tie event was hosted by TV presenter Sarah Heaney, and gave finalists to share their success stories and have their achievements recognised.

The event also saw an official opening address from Simon Tse, the Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service, who stressed the need to celebrate the sometimes under-appreciated wider importance of procurement in the UK.

This year there were 16 categories, plus the GO Excellence Award, with many categories from previous years split to recognise different types of organisation. This testifies to both the quantity and quality of entries. The judging panel, made up of experts in the field of procurement, stressed that this year’s batch of entries was among the strongest ever, with chair of the judging panel David Smith commenting that:

I believe the standard of the awards has improved greatly over the years. The winners in the categories this year are as good if not better than any other year.

See some of the highlights of the evening here:

GO Awards presentation

Although many of the evening’s winners and highly commended entrants represented previously recognised entries from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there were also many winners from among the new entrants. A full list of winners and highly commended entrants is below – congratulations to them all!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Local Authority, Consortia and Housing

Winner: Liverpool City Council
Highly Commended: Tai Tarian

Liverpool Council – clearly pleased to have won!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations

Winner: Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture & AECOM
Highly Commended: Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management and Capability Team

GO Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

Winner: Ingenica Solutions & Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended: AdviseInc Ltd.

GO Best Service Award – Medium & Large Organisations

Winner: Warmworks Scotland
Highly Commended: Hays & Birmingham City Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care

Winner: Scan4Safety & the Department of Health and Social Care
Highly Commended: Angus Council / Angus Health and Social Care Partnership
Highly Commended: Leicestershire County Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care (NHS Organisations)

Winner: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust & Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Highly Commended: NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit & NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group
Highly Commended: NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support & NHS England

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kent Police & Essex Police
Highly Commended: Kirklees Council

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year

Winner: Transport Scotland – Forth Replacement Crossing

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Local Government & Other Organisations

Winner: North Yorkshire County Council
Highly Commended: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Central Government & Healthcare Organisations

Winner: Bank of England
Highly Commended: Office of National Statistics

GO Procurement Project of the Year Award (sub-£20m value)

Winner: Renfrewshire Council
Highly Commended: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Local Government and Consortia

Winner: North Lincolnshire Council
Highly Commended: NEPO

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Other Organisations

Winner: Translink
Highly Commended: Department for International Development
Highly Commended: North of England Commissioning Support Unit & NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

Joint Winner: Leidos Supply Limited
Joint Winner: Cardiff Council

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care Organisations

Winner: NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
Highly Commended: Procurement and Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts & the Department of Health

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kirklees Council
Highly Commended: Network Homes
Highly Commended: North Yorkshire County Council

GO Excellence Award

Unlike other awards, the GO Excellence award cannot be entered. Instead, the nominations for this award were revealed on the evening of the ceremony, comprising a list of five of the overall strongest entries from across this year’s winning entrants, as decided by the expert judging panel.

The GO Excellence Award this year went to the team from Scan4Safety & the Department for Health and Social Care. The judging panel described this entry as

a major league project for a major league organisation – delivering significant benefits in a host of areas: efficiency, safety and cost management to name just three. A project that has required huge effort to coordinate, with an impressive list of benefits achieved and evidence of sharing of best practice.

Congratulations to the Scan4Safety team!

The GO Awards – next steps

While this year’s National GO Awards presentation may be over, check the GO Awards website over the coming weeks to learn more about the fascinating and inspiring stories behind some of the winning and highly commended entries.

In addition, the GO Awards Scotland 2019/20 will take place on 29th October with the GO Awards Wales following on 7th November. The entry process will begin soon – so why not share your procurement success story?

New digital paths for health, work and business a major focus within the NHS Long Term Plan

Hospital working working on tablet computer

Earlier this month, the NHS published its Long Term Plan. The Plan details how the £20.5 billion budget settlement for the NHS, confirmed in the summer of last year, will be spent over the next five years.

For patients, the Plan focuses on delivering ‘the best start in life’ for everyone, community health, and allowing people to age well. From the perspective of the NHS itself, the Plan will focus on driving efficiency, both in terms of organisation and affording individual workers easier and more effective working practices.

A major focus of the Plan concerns digital transformation. This will include such innovations as the NHS App, allowing for a single way for patients to identify themselves across a range of local and national services.

Associated apps and digital solutions will no doubt be embraced wholeheartedly by a range of NHS institutions, as a recent iGov Survey found that 72% of respondents from the NHS would like to deliver patient health apps as part of their Wi-Fi solution, while more than two-thirds stated that patient access to online appointment bookings will be beneficial.

At BiP Solutions, we recognise both the challenges and opportunities presented by digital transformation facing healthcare buyers and suppliers today.

In fact, our most recent report considered the digital trends and innovative approaches playing a significant role in today’s NHS through boosting efficiencies and, crucially, saving lives. You can access a complimentary copy here.

It’s no secret that the NHS is a hugely complex organisation, with hundreds of separate but connected organisations, and navigating the ways they link, share information and work together can sometimes be difficult for NHS staff, let alone those seeking to work with NHS trusts. The digital transformation element of the Long Term Plan promises to ease the burden of the NHS’ complexity for patients and staff.

If you’re looking to cut through the difficulties of understanding how NHS organisations are related and talk to the right person to do business with, BiP Solutions’ Ingenium community can help. Our data community holds contact details for all senior decision-makers throughout the NHS, which we combine with a deep understanding of the NHS’ structure to deliver relevant and engaging digital marketing campaigns.

The Long Term Plan will reshape many NHS working practices, the ways patients interact with the NHS, and the way that business is done too. For businesses, it’ll therefore be important to keep up-to-date with the latest developments, as changes are set to happen throughout the NHS supply chain. An easy way for businesses to ensure they’re staying abreast of the latest changes is through Tracker’s business intelligence modules which offer an easy one-stop, complete source of information on public sector procurement.

Additionally, a major element of the Plan’s overhaul of working methods will be further innovations in terms of technology and equipment needed. For example, the Plan’s stated aims include new ways of managing and storing data, as well as novel methods of treating patients and providing care. With innovation a primary concern, it’s important that businesses are able to join conversations with NHS buyers earlier, to ensure that they can gain a real understanding of the requirement – or even shape discussion about the solution needed.

In fact, Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer and Non-Executive Director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), said at our recent Procurex Scotland event that “early engagement is absolutely crucial.” He also noted that both buyers and suppliers should be encouraged to engage earlier to get the best out of a procurement exercise:

“If we don’t engage with the market, we won’t understand what the market can offer or what suppliers have developed for a different buyer elsewhere in the country. If we do not talk to suppliers then we miss out on opportunities and we will end up trying to procure something that they may not be able to deliver.”

How we can help

As mentioned before, Ingenium can put businesses in touch with key NHS stakeholders ahead of the tender process, helping conversations happen earlier.

Additionally, Tracker aids early engagement, thanks to easy viewing of upcoming contract renewals and recurring projects through ‘Market Leads’, meaning businesses can discuss these needs ahead of tender publication. Meanwhile, Tracker’s ‘Spend Analysis’ allows for an overview of what organisations are spending and with whom – helping businesses to shape future discussions by understanding how individual NHS trusts spend and work.

The transformation of the NHS via the Long Term Plan looks set to radically overhaul the way that the NHS, patients and businesses interact. We look forward to working digitally together with the NHS as the Plan unfolds.

Further reading

View the Long Term Plan here.

Access our latest Healthcare market report here.

To find out more about our solutions, please visit: www.bipsolutions.com