Alder Hey NHS Trust looks to boost use of ‘innovative’ tech

Children’s hospital to set up dynamic purchasing system for use across NHS

Credit: Brian Deegan/CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the UK’s foremost children’s hospitals is looking to identify “innovative” technology and services that could help improve its quality of care.

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has published a contract notice outlining its intent to establish a dynamic purchasing system that could help it “introduce new innovative products” into both its own operations and the wider health service. The goal of doing so is to “stimulate competition, improve quality and provide innovative solutions to healthcare-related problems experienced by clinicians and other healthcare professionals”.

The DPS, which will last for a period of four years, will consist of three lots, respectively dedicated to: medical consumables; medical equipment and devices; and IT-related products.

It will be available for use by all NHS entities throughout England, as well as to central and local government, and social enterprises engaged in NHS work.

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Alder Hey (pictured above), which is based in the Liverpool district of West Derby, said that it is especially interested in appointing start-ups, SMEs, and individual entrepreneurs to the procurement vehicle. Unlike a traditional static framework, the DPS model allows for new suppliers, products and services to be added over the course of its lifespan.

“It is expected that the products [featured on the DPS] will be mainly medical technological solutions which solve healthcare-related problems identified in hospitals or other healthcare-related facilities, Alder Hey said. “But each product will be judged on its merits with regard to whether it meets the criteria for inclusion on the framework.”

The hospital added: “The dynamic purchasing system is being undertaken to put in place framework agreements with suitable suppliers of medical technology products which can truly be considered ‘innovative’. Any product which is currently widely used in the healthcare sector or has alternative competition in the marketplace which offers similar solutions would not generally be considered as meeting this requirement.”

Bidding is now open for a place on the DPS, which is due to go live on 20 February. To procure products and services, public sector bodies will need to run further competition among the featured suppliers – unless “it is clear that there is no similar product on the framework”, in which case they can directly award a deal to a firm of their choice.

Treating more than 330,000 patients each year, Alder Hey is one of Europe’s biggest dedicated hospitals for children and young people. In addition to its main location – which opened in 2015 and also includes a research and education – the trust also provides services at a range of community health facilities across Merseyside, Shropshire, Cumbria, Wales, and the Isle of Man.


Sam Trendall

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