We have an in-house procurement department which provides a comprehensive service that enables Trust staff to buy goods and services correctly and effectively. The procurement team currently influences a large percentage of the Trust’s total annual non-pay expenditure of £44M.
All public sector organisations are publicly accountable for the money they spend on behalf of taxpayers and they are required to make sure that their purchasing and tendering procedures are fair, transparent, satisfy all procurement rules/laws and deliver value for money.
The procurement team purchases goods and services on behalf of the Trust and in doing so ensures that we fully comply with all statutory internal and external procurement rules.
The Trust has a procurement strategy to ensure good procurement practices and the development of ethical supply chains. A sustainable approach recognises the broader impacts of our actions and aims to minimise any adverse effects.
Sustainable procurement is about taking environmental and social factors into account in purchasing decisions. It’s about looking at what products are made of, where they come from, and who has made them. It’s also about considering whether the item is necessary at all. Ultimately it aims to minimise the environmental and social impacts of the purchases we make.
There is much work to be done on sustainable development within the Trust and the integration of sustainability considerations into the procurement cycle will become an integrated part of the procurement process.
Like many other health care services, the procurement department is subject to a comprehensive inspection (scrutiny) program. This involves a number of different internal and external bodies who look at how the Trust is meeting all its statutory obligations, ensure that we have compliance with the numerous rules and regulations, and check that we are getting the best value on our purchases.
The procurement department uses the ‘Agresso purchase order system’ to buy goods and services and currently over £34m is purchased through this system, including £4.5m via an e-catalogue of goods.
Trust staff have to ensure they are getting the best value for money when they are buying goods or services for the Trust but by doing so have to follow a number of rules, including:
For purchases between £10,000 and £25,000
For purchases that are not made against a formal public sector contract, it is the Trusts policy to obtain 3 competitive quotes (in writing). For goods and services that are only available from one supplier, a separate authorisation process is followed which seeks assurance that the goods or service could only be obtained from that one supplier, these “sole supplier” purchases are made by exception.
For purchases between £25,000 and £181,302 formal tender procedures are followed and the procurement department seeks competitive tenders for the goods/services. Again, a separate authorisation process is followed if the goods or service are only available from one supplier.
For purchases over £181,302 for the year, or cumulated over 4 years, that are not purchased from a National NHS, CCS (Crown Commercial Services), regional or local contract, the ‘European Union directives for public procurement’ will apply. This means that any orders over this threshold must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and a full EU tender process will be carried out by the procurement department. Purchases over the EU threshold cannot be ignored or sole supply authorisation sought as the EU rules and regulations on public procurement are enforceable by law.
Winning Trust Business
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) aims to encourage a range of different business sectors to bid for Trust contracts by ensuring:
- Organisations have access to information on our contracting opportunities
- Contracts are ‘packaged’ in such a way as to ensure for example that smaller businesses are not excluded from bidding
- Our documentation and processes are clear and understandable
- Fair and transparent quotation and tender processes are undertaken
All Trust contracting opportunities with a value exceeding £25,000 will be profiled on the Trusts inTend portal and contracts less than £25,000 will also be competitively tested using the inTend system. InTend is a web-based system used to run and advertise quotation and tender opportunities and is used by many public sector organisations within the healthcare, local government and education sectors.
If your organisation is interested in doing business with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust then registering at https://in-tendhost.co.uk/southwestyorkshire/aspx/Home is the first important step. Registration is free of charge and you should look to specify the category of goods, works or services you are able to offer by identifying the category within section listed in inTend to ensure you receive alerts when Trust opportunities are advertised.
If you have any questions relating to tendering with the Trust, please contact the procurement department directly. Contact details are detailed below.
If you have any questions on how to use the inTend website please contact the In-Tend support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0845 557 8079/ + 44 (0) 114 407 0065. If this number is inoperative due to a fault then the alternative number is +44 (0)7785 355314 (please note this mobile number will only be active in the event of a fault on the main support number).