Doing business with us
Public sector procurement is subject to a legal framework which encourages free and open competition and value for money, in line with internationally and nationally agreed obligations and regulations.
The way we advertise contract opportunities and manage the tendering process depends on the value of the contract and which threshold it falls within.
We try to use public sector framework agreements wherever possible.
As a public body, if we are buying goods and services that are valued above set financial thresholds, we must follow the procedures laid down in the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) before awarding a contract to suppliers.
If we are buying services below these set thresholds, we have our own internal procedures to ensure we are achieving the best value for money for every purchase.
For purchases not using a framework agreement, the thresholds are:
- Up to £15,000 – Requires a minimum of 1 written supplier quote for the goods or services required
- £15,000 to £50,000 – Requires a minimum of 3 written supplier quotes for the goods and services required
- £50,000 and above – Requires formal tender process and is managed via the e-Tendering system (Atamis).
- For purchases above PCR thresholds set under the regulations, we comply with the PCR procedures. These include: open, restricted, innovation partnerships, competitive with negotiation, and competitive dialogue.
As of 1 January 2022, the Central Government PCR threshold is £138,760 incl. VAT for Goods and Services, and £5,336,937 incl. VAT for Works. This value is reviewed every two years.
Further information on UK Public Contracts Regulations is available via the Government Website:
To support suppliers’ access to public contracts we publish contract information and opportunities according to the UK regulations.
We are required to publish all contracts worth more than £10,000 on the GOV.UK Contracts Finder website.
Contracts exceeding the Public Contract Regulations (PCR) threshold must also be advertised on the Find a Tender Service (FTS) on the Government website.
FTS is free to use and replaces the role of Tenders Electronic Daily, the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU/TED) for procurements in the UK.
If you register, these sites can also send you notifications about contracts that match your criteria.
Atamis is the e-Tendering system chosen by The Department for Health and Social Care.
Many organisations across the NHS and wider health system use Atamis to manage tendering and contracts.
Once registered with Atamis, you can 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.
You will find a link to guidance on the Atamis landing page. If you need further advice or support in registering, please contact the Atamis help desk:
Phone: 0800 9956035
Frameworks are agreements put in place with pre-approved suppliers that enable us to place contracts or orders for goods and services that are commonly bought across the public sector.
Frameworks are often divided into ‘lots’ by product or service type, and sometimes by region. This means that suppliers offering certain kinds of specialist goods or services, sometimes in a specific geographic location, can bid to join the lot that best suits their offer.
Tenders will be invited from all suppliers on the framework agreement or relevant lot within the framework if it is broken down by lots. If there are many potential suppliers, the commercial team might carry out a capability assessment before inviting bids.
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 (CCS) – the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK used by public and third sector buyers in the UK.
- NHS Supply Chain - NHS supply chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products, services and food for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales.
- NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) - provides finance, procurement, ICT and employment services to around 40% of the NHS.
How we decide which framework to use
Our aim is to acquire goods and services at the best value, ensuring a fair and reasonable involvement of stakeholders and suppliers.
Once a requirement has been identified, we will evaluate whether there is an existing framework in place which could meet that need.
To become a supplier on a framework you need to respond successfully to an opportunity by the relevant framework authority. These should be available on the GOV.UK Contracts Finder and Find a Tender Service (FTS) websites.