NHS Highland has its own procurement team based at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness and a small ordering facility in the Argyll and Bute Community Health Partnership in Lochgilphead. The Procurement Team purchases a wide range of goods services and equipment including medical and surgical items, IT equipment and services and provides support and advice on long term contracts for capital equipment.
For more generic products used in common with other parts of the NHS, the board’s procurement team collaborates with the rest of the NHS in Scotland and buys from contracts awarded by National Procurement. The Service also uses other Scottish or UK framework contracts where available to achieve best value in line with the recommendations of the McClelland Report published in 2006, for example Procurement Scotland or Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
Contracts valued in excess of £50,000 are advertised on Public Contracts Scotland and can also be viewed on the Service’s Buyer Profile. All contracts above the EU thresholds are also advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in addition to these websites.
Procurement within NHS Highland is carried out to achieve best value for the items that most closely meet its requirements, is compliant with the Board’s standing financial instructions, and is in line with government policy and relevant legislation including the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. Contract award decisions are based on the assessment of a range of evaluation criteria specific to the goods or services being purchased. For contracts above the EU thresholds, these criteria and the relevant weightings are included in the contract notice and tender documentation.
NHS Highland was the first Health Board to implement the Scottish Government eProcurement Scotland system (PECOS) with roll out across the board to 2500 users processing over £25m of expenditure each year. The system has proved popular with users and improved efficiency in the ordering process and the board is keen to develop closer linkages with key suppliers to obtain maximum benefit to both parties through developments such as cXML ordering, tailored punch-out sites and eInvoicing.
Further information on PECOS is available from the eProcurement Scotland website.
The eProcurement Scotland eTendering system (eSourcing Scotland) was first used in 2008, to allow suppliers electronic access to pre-qualification questionnaires and tenders. For further information on eSourcing Scotland is available on the Scottish Procurement Directorate website.
Equality Diversity and Sustainable procurement
In the conduct of its procurement role and responsibilities NHS Highland will, where appropriate, comply with, and require contractors to demonstrate compliance with, legislation relating to equality and diversity and is developing a sustainable procurement action plan.
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
NHS Highland will comply with its obligations under the Act, deal with each request for information on an individual basis and is aware that suppliers may wish to protect information which is commercially sensitive. The procurement team will work closely with suppliers to ensure their interests are considered when releasing information and take account of any exemptions in the act. Further information for suppliers is included in tender documentation.