Capital equipment

What is capital equipment?

Capital equipment is any item costing more than £5,000 including VAT.  NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) budget to purchase capital equipment is provided by the Department of Health (DH) in the form of a ‘loan’. Capital equipment purchases may incur capital charges in subsequent years (a repayment to the DH may be required). This is dependent upon the cost and expected life of each item.

The purchase of capital equipment requires planning and takes time. Requests from Principal Investigators (PIs) for capital equipment are collated annually and prioritised by the R&D Senior Management Team against the available budget. Replacement equipment, equipment available to several users and equipment essential for the success of a project or research programme will generally be given higher priority.

NHSBT’s Standing Financial Instructions include rules governing the processes that must be followed when purchasing capital equipment. They are designed to allow free competition between suppliers:

  • If the value is above £15,000 but below £50,000 then quotations from three suppliers are required
  • If the value is above £50,000 but below £115,000 then tenders from suppliers are required
  • If the value is above £115,000 then the Public Contract Regulations above Threshold process must be followed, taking several months. This involves NHSBT advertising the ‘intention to purchase’ in the Contracts Finder and Find a Tender Service

Funding request calls are circulated annually to researchers by the Research Governance Office.

Further information, including current financial limits, can be obtained by contacting our Research Governance Office.

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