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NHS Tenders: How to find them and win the contract

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Jun 12, 2020

Each year the NHS spends billions of pounds procuring goods, services and works from suppliers across the UK, and beyond. This presents huge opportunities for businesses to gain NHS contracts, which can be lucrative and offer long-term revenues.

The NHS is constantly faced with huge challenges, from budget cuts to a global pandemic, and is therefore seeking new suppliers who can offer innovative solutions. From cleaning, IT, construction and PPE, there’s a wide variety of NHS tenders available and regularly being announced.

Whether you have experience of NHS tenders or not, we can help you find the right opportunities and develop your bid to secure NHS contracts.

How do NHS tenders work?

All public sector tenders, including NHS tenders, are procured via different routes depending on the value of the contract. However, the method is consistent and precise across all forms of procurement.

If the contract value of a NHS tender is the same as the OJEU threshold, or exceeds it, the contract must, legally, be procured via a tendering process.

Contracts lower than the OJEU threshold can either be quoted directly or also tendered for through local authorities or Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s).

The tender process, typically, has the below stages:

  • Most commissioners will release a prior information notice (PIN), which is an advanced notice of the tender opportunity. This can be within 2-12 months of the contract release.

  • The launch of the tender will be via a contract notice. This usually includes an overview of the works and details of the contract, including the stages and expectations for the stages and deadlines.

  • Sometimes a ‘meet the buyer’ event can be planned which is a great opportunity to attend and find out more about the NHS tender, contract and ask any questions you may have. It’s also a good way to build your network and potential partnerships.

  • A pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), or selection questionnaire (SQ) is often the next step before you can actually tender for the contract. This helps to ensure the most suitable businesses continue through the process, and can actually deliver the works involved.

  • The next step, and most important, is to receive an invitation to tender. This is where you will need to develop a winning bid to showcase how your business can be the perfect supplier.

  • Once the tenders have been submitted and scored, there may be a further step to interview a few shortlisted candidates. This is often as a presentation style meeting, another critical opportunity to prove yourselves.

  • A final decision will be made and all those involved will be notified.

Benefits of winning a NHS contract

As mentioned above, the NHS looks for suppliers across a wide range of industries and offerings. This makes it an attractive customer for many businesses who are looking to grow and potentially expand their offerings.

NHS tenders are usually long-term contracts, or framework agreements, providing regular, consistent work for your business. A long term view of potential work and profits is always advantageous for business planning.

Not only are they typically financially rewarding, but they can also open up more opportunities with other public sector organisations.

Payment terms for NHS contracts are also attractive with a 30 day maximum in-line with the governments prompt payment policy.

Where to find NHS tenders

You can search for ALL NHS tenders using our free tool, Tender Pipeline. Also, sign up to receive personalised email notifications on NHS tenders relevant to your business so you’ll never miss a great opportunity again! Other healthcare tenders are also available via the tool.

How to win a NHS tender

Developing a strong bid is crucial to winning a NHS tender. Similarly, understanding the tender opportunity and the scope of works involved before proceeding with the tender will not only help you identify if it’s the right contract for you, but it will also help you to create the bid with the requirements at the heart of it. It’s really important to tailor your bid and identify how you stand out from the competition.

Whilst securing a NHS tender can bring many positives, we understand the process to securing the contract can be a bit of a headache, and potentially a minefield, for many businesses. NHS tenders are precise and rigorous. Quality bids should demonstrate value for money, clearly articulate offerings and consider the sensitive, often live environment of hospital and care practices.

As experts in bid writing, we have extensive experience of helping businesses find NHS tenders, develop successful bids and secure the contract. If you require additional support with developing a winning NHS tender please get in touch with us today.

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