Saturday 18th Jan 2020 - Logistics Manager Magazine

DHSC refuses to comment on NHS contract row

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The Department of Health and Social Care has refused to comment on reports that it is being sued by DHL over the awarding of a £730 million NHS logistics contract.

The story, which appeared first in “Health Service Journal”, suggests that Unipart has been awarded the contract to deliver medical equipment to the NHS, and DHL, the incumbent, is taking legal action over allegations of improper behaviour during the awarding of the contract.

However, the Department of Health and Social Care has refused to comment, on the basis that the procurement process has not been completed. DHL has also declined to comment saying the matter is subject to legal proceedings.

The contract is being let as part of the government’s new operating model for the NHS supply chain.

The new operating model involved the creation in April of Supply Chain Coordination Ltd as the management function for the model, which is expected to deliver some £2.4 billion savings over five years.

A key element of the new operating model is the creation of a series of “category towers”.

The six medical category towers went live in May. The contracts were awarded to DHL Supply Chain, Health Solutions Team, and the NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership.

Four non-medical category towers went live on 5th July. These are the contracts:

* DHL Supply Chain Limited to provide Diagnostic Capital Devices and Mobile Services

* Akeso & Company Limited to provide Pathology and Mobile Diagnostics Services

* Foodbuy to provide Food Services

* NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative to provide NHS Hotel Services

According to the July 2018 edition of the SCCL Supplier Newsletter, the new logistics provider was due to be announced this month.

Unipart has also declined to comment on the situation.