The Department of Health and Social Care has finally awarded a £730 million NHS logistics contract to Unipart Logistics.
The awarding of the contract had been challenged by DHL, the incumbent, which argued that the DHSC had behaved in an improper manner during the awarding of the contract. However, on 17th August, the High Court ruled in favour of the DHSC.
The five year contract will begin at the end of February 2019.
Unipart Logistics will commence the provision of delivery services to NHS Trusts and also facilitate the Home Delivery Service in partnership with Movianto UK, a company who offer dedicated and networked transport services within the healthcare sector.
Unipart’s responsibilities will include: delivering medical devices and hospital consumables ‒ other than medicine ‒ to NHS trusts; warehousing; inventory management; order processing and delivery.
A spokesperson for Unipart said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded the contract.”
This contract award represents the final piece of the jigsaw in shaping the new NHS Supply Chain.
The new operating model involved the creation in April 2018 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
Health minister Steve Barclay said: “ A modern health service shouldn’t involve 234 separate trusts spending time and money negotiating different contracts and prices for the same thing. That’s why our work to centralise how the NHS buys goods and services is crucial.
“By streamlining the process and freeing trusts up from having to do this, we will save staff valuable time, save huge amounts of money and be able to reinvest the savings into patient care and frontline services.”