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Doing business with NHS Digital

Find out how we buy goods and services

We work closely with our suppliers to add real value to our corporate goals.

We understand that progress in this complex, multi-stakeholder ecosystem depends on partnership and collaboration and we are constantly working to strengthen our alliances and build new ones.


NHS Digital Commercial

We have a team of procurement professionals who oversee all aspects of our procurement activity and provide a comprehensive commercial service. The team is responsible for the whole procurement life cycle from identification of business need and engaging the market through to supplier selection, contracts and relationship management, contract expiry/termination and starting to plan for the next contract lifecycle. 

Our supply chain partners are fundamental to our on-going success, creating significant value through the delivery of new thinking and innovative solutions. Through the deployment of Strategic Supplier Relationship Management (SSRM) we are focused on creating an effective and collaborative relationship with our most important suppliers, creating additional value and innovation that goes beyond our contracts.

We do not operate ‘preferred supplier lists’. Where appropriate we utilise framework agreements and contracts awarded by other public sector organisations such as Crown Commercial Service and the NHS Business Services Authority.


How we procure

We buy goods and services by competition wherever possible, in line with UK government policy and the relevant legal requirements. 

If a suitable framework agreement is available, then this will normally be the preferred route to market. The thresholds are:

  • up to £5,000 - 1 written quote needed
  • £5,000 to £25,000 - 3 written quotes needed
  • £25,000 and above – formal tender process must be used and managed via the e-Tendering tool (Atamis)
  • a full competitive tender exercise will be advertised in the Find a Tender (FTS) service and/or on the government's Contracts Finder depending on value

NHS Digital's strategic sourcing tool

In recent weeks we have moved away from using Bravo as our health e-commerce system and transitioned to Atamis (Welcome (force.com).  

Atamis is the system chosen by The Department for Health and Social Care and many organisations across the NHS and wider health system to manage tendering and contract management activity.  

Registration on the system will allow you to view your existing contracts with us and any other contracting authorities on the Health Family e-Commercial system, as well as gain access to any new opportunities.

If you were a supplier using Bravo, your details will have been migrated and you will have had email contact providing new access credentials.  

If you want to create a new registration, there is guidance on the Atamis landing page.

If you find you do need further advice or support in registering, please contact the Atamis helpdesk using the following details:

Phone: 0800 9956035
E-mail: support-health@atamis.co.uk
 

 


Sustainability

Our ambition is to seek, collect, share, promote and implement sustainable best practice through our procurement activity.  We will work with our suppliers to generate benefits to the organisation, to society and the economy, while minimising damage to the environment.  In all our commercial activity of any value, we are committed to supporting these benefits and will do so by: 

  • building in appropriate social, economic and environmental factors into our tender requirements
  • including valued weightings into tender evaluations where appropriate
  • reducing the ‘single use’ items sourced
  • working with our suppliers on improving disposal; reduction; reuse and visibility throughout the supply chain
  • working with suppliers to comply with modern slavery legislation 
  • incorporating government guidance into our procurement models, such as Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20 that sets out how to take account of social value in the award of government contracts

Corporate ethics

As part of our ongoing commitment to increase our focus on sustainability and social value our commercial team have recently achieved a recognised standard for corporate ethical procurement and supply.

Our certification and kitemark from the Charter Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) signals that our staff are trained in ethical sourcing and supplier management, and that we have adopted ethical values in the way in how we source and manage suppliers. 

NHS Digital certification for achieving corporate ethical procurement and supply

CIPS corporate ethics logo

Social value charter

We have recently launched a Social Value Charter to clearly communicate the social value priorities for NHS Digital and to create a environment within which NHS Digital and our suppliers can operate.

This charter is intended to provide guidance to help suppliers understand our priorities and work with us to collectively contribute to the overall wellbeing of our communities.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in this work, please email: nhsdigital.industryqueries@nhs.net


Commonly used terms and conditions

Generally, we seek to conduct business using government assured terms and conditions. The terms and conditions applicable to a contract will vary depending on the requirements and the procurement approach. Where appropriate, a call off terms and conditions may be supplemented by NHS Digital specific additional terms. Supplier terms and conditions will only be accepted on an exceptional basis.

All terms and conditions are issued during the competitive process so that potential suppliers can review them before submitting a proposal.


Contracted suppliers working with NHS Digital

We are committed to ensuring that all our contracts deliver the very best value for money throughout their contractual periods. We constantly review delivery and work to build strong relationships with suppliers that are focused on continuous improvement by all parties.

We have three different categories of supplier with different levels of management, and we regularly review how individual contracts are classified. The categories are:

  • Gold: contracts that have a high supply risk and high cost impact (formally reviewed monthly)
  • Silver: contracts that have a high cost impact and low supplier risk (formally reviewed quarterly)
  • Bronze: contracts that have a low cost impact and low supply risk (formally reviewed annually)

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Transparency

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) provides a statutory general right of access to information held by public authorities, or by those providing services for public authorities. This means that we have certain obligations under the Act to provide information when requested, provided that the information is not exempt from disclosure under the provisions of EIR or FOI.

We are committed to meeting responsibilities while respecting commercial relationships with suppliers. Due consideration will be given to the potential impact on the commercial position of any of our suppliers when responding to a request for information which may concern them.

All information submitted to us may be subject to disclosure to a third party in response to a request for information under EIR and FOI.

How this may affect suppliers

We may receive requests for information specifically concerning our commercial relationship with our suppliers. We will consult with the supplier(s) concerned prior to responding to a request whenever reasonably practicable.

Suppliers tendering for NHS Digital work will be asked in the tender documentation to identify any information they consider to be exempt from disclosure due to confidentiality but, to note, it is solely for NHS Digital to make that determination.

Suppliers should note that if they provide us with any information marked ‘confidential’ or equivalent, this does not mean that we accept any duty of confidence by virtue of that marking.

Transparency

We comply with applicable government procurement guidance in relation to procurements, including the pro-active publication of contracts, but subject to confidential information being redacted in accordance with FOI exemptions.

Last edited: 17 June 2021 4:25 pm