7 Things to Consider When Applying for Hospital Tenders
How to succeed when applying for Hospital Tenders
Hospital tenders are some of the most abundant tenders going. Health is by far the biggest area of government procurement spending. The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in procurement within the healthcare sector. Increased procurement has been needed for both goods and services as they struggle to cope with increasing demand and pressure.
There are several things to consider when applying for hospital tenders.
Who puts out hospital tenders?
Private Healthcare Sector
This includes Private Hospital Groups such as:
- Nuffield Health
- BMI Healthcare
Public Healthcare Sector
In the UK, this is the National Healthcare Service (NHS). This is inclusive of hospitals, general practices (GPs) and community care. Most of the procurement opportunities in healthcare and hospital tenders are put out by the NHS, local authorities and central government.
The NHS Supply Chain
This is the central body that oversees the procurement of healthcare products, services and food within the NHS. The NHS Supply Chain manages more than 4.5 million orders per year across 94,000 order points and 15,000 locations. They consolidate orders from over 8,000 suppliers saving time and money.
How are goods and services purchased?
In England, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) acquires funding through taxes and national insurance. This then goes to regional NHS organisations. Each region within the UK has its own healthcare board, known as the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). They receive the money from the government and decide how and what to put the money towards in their region. Each hospital decides how to spend money from the government as they might need to procure different goods and services. As a result, our Healthcare Tenders portal sees a constant stream of healthcare contract opportunities.
The DHSC spent around £70 billion on procurement in England in 2018/19 and it is increasing each year. The public healthcare sector couldn’t run efficiently without private sector suppliers. An estimated 1 in 3 NHS clinical service tenders are won by private-sector contractors.
There are three general areas of procurement and hospital tenders. These are:
NHS Digital which controls IT procurement of dater systems and software solutions. Digital hospital tenders would be put out for software solutions to be used within hospitals. It is worth bearing in mind that if applying for NHS Digital procurement opportunities the following accreditations are needed:
- ISO 9001
- ISO 13485
- ISO 27001
- Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSP) Toolkit
- IASME GOLD also known as IASME Governance
The main goods bought by hospitals are equipment and medicines. This includes single purchase capital equipment tenders for things such as beds and x-ray machines. It also includes consumables which could be anything from bedsheets to paper towels. Both of which hospitals are in constant need of. In response to the pandemic, this would include the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The services can be viewed as the procurement of people. This could be doctors, cleaners or care workers. Service tenders would be put out to solve needs such as long waiting list problems. The current pandemic has led to an increase in the procurement of services in the last year.
7 things to consider when applying for hospital tenders:
Accreditations and Qualifications
It’s no surprise that to secure healthcare and hospital tenders, you have to have certain accreditations and qualifications. The procurement teams need to know that you’re appropriately qualified to tend to their needs. Without these, you’ll likely fall at the first hurdle. Displaying some basic, internationally recognised qualifications and accreditations assures your quality. Including your organisation’s information security standards will help.
Some of the key accreditations that are needed when applying for hospital tenders are:
- ISO 9001
- ISO 27001
- NVQs (usually level 3 or above)
If you’re a relatively new business, it’s worth keeping in mind that hospital tenders will require you to include past case studies. If you don’t have these, it’s best to start with a small spot provider opportunity that you’ll champion. Once you’ve secured three small projects, you will have enough experience to apply for larger bids. The NHS requires case studies of previous work, so you must have these before applying.
When applying for hospital tenders, you want to make your bid the most price attractive to the buyer. The most economically advantageous tenders (MEATs) will come out on top, and it’s something worth remembering. Although a lot of tenders have greater scoring in quality, you must not overlook the pricing aspect.
If you’re new to tendering, consider starting with framework agreements. A framework agreement is a form of tendering contract. Tenders often focus on a single supplier delivering the required goods or services. However, if you’re a new or small business, this might not be appropriate.
Frameworks aim to establish a multi-supplier agreement. This means there are more places available. These agreements are often over longer-terms, usually between 2 – 10 years. Buyers release a framework opportunity and award places to the best suppliers. Goods/services on frameworks are often divided into multiple lots. Therefore, instead of delivering the whole contract, you only deliver your section.
If you’re applying for digital healthcare and hospital tenders, the implementation and end-user engagement are always worth paying attention to. You want the emphasis on support for whatever you’re providing. If you can get the end-user engagement right, you will be highly successful.
NHS tenders are often large, complex and notorious for being a lengthy procurement process. The NHS can be a difficult place to implement your solution. It takes time. Remember that there are many people involved in the process.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for amended documents – don’t ignore portal notifications! If there are numerous clarification questions about the same clause, the procurement teams may make some changes. These amendments may significantly affect quality responses and/or pricing.
Here are just some of the past hospital tenders we have sourced on our Healthcare portal:
On-site Perfusion Services Embedded within the Hospital
Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust- Wales- Budget: £14,000,000
Enteral Nutrition Services for Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
HealthTrust Europe LLP (HTE)- North West- Budget: Undisclosed
GB-East Grinstead: Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust require a replacement Nurse Call System
Queen Victoria NHS Foundation Trust- South East- Budget: £100,000
Framework for Adult Mental Health and Adult Learning Disability Hospitals
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership-Procurement Services (hosted by Velindre University NHS Trust)- Wales- Budget: Undisclosed
Hospital Intervention ‚ÄòNavigator‚Äô Service – Violence Reduction
Greater Manchester Combined Authority- North West- Budget: £180,000
If you want to enter the world of healthcare and hospital tenders but don’t know where to start, we can help.
What we can offer you:
Bid Writing Support
Once you’ve found the perfect hospital tender for your business, our Hudson Succeed division can continue to support you. We offer a variety of healthcare bid writing services to suit your requirements. From passing the PQQ to finalising your ITT response, our team are ready to help.
Our bid writers have an 87% success rate and over 40 years of bidding experience. We offer tender support through four services:
Simply send the bid specification to our team and they’ll write your hospital tender. They’ll even submit the bid on your behalf. This service is priced per bid and we provide a full Tender Writing breakdown. You’ll know how long it’ll take, what we’ll need from you and when you’ll see an initial and final draft.
Our bid writers will assess your previous tender responses and work with you to develop improved content.
Our team will analyse your content and check for any errors before you submit your tender response.
Tender Ready helps businesses that are completely new to the tendering process. We offer a three-stage process and a 4-week programme.
Our Tender VLE platform provides expert masterclasses and fact sheets covering many aspects of tender writing. From technical writing tips to design elements, you’ll find clear answers to almost any question you may have about tendering. Our team shares their expert knowledge through video tutorials.
Why join Healthcare Tenders?
- Our Opportunity Trackers manually search thousands of sources daily to ensure our clients never miss a tender. This means each opportunity is current and relevant to your organisation.
- We post opportunities on our portal, Healthcare Tenders, and tag them with accurate keywords manually. We don’t rely on CPV codes, which are often incorrect and cause tenders to be missed.
- You can filter results easily by keyword, region, budget, service and more.
- You can receive daily alerts when tenders are released for services in their sector as well as 24hr access to our Healthcare Tenders portal.
- You’re provided with a dedicated Hudson Account Manager. We are on-hand to answer any questions about the portal or tendering process in general.
- You can have a free 20-minute phone consultation with our bid writing experts from Hudson Succeed. We will answer specific questions and provide advice and guidance related to your tendering journey.
Get in touch with Healthcare Tenders today for a free live demo.
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