Reform and financial challenges on the agenda

Leading e-procurement services provider Millstream is to exhibit at the NHS Confederation annual conference next week, when NHS reform and its financial challenges will be on the agenda.

The NHS Confederation is the membership body for all organisations that commission and provide NHS services and its annual conference and exhibition is being held at the ACC Liverpool from June 5-7.


Millstream runs the mytenders and Tenders Direct websites, which allow public sector organisations to publish tenders and private sector companies to bid for new business, as well as national procurement portals for Scotland, Wales and Norway.

Like local authorities, transport operators and other public bodies, NHS trusts are bound by strict rules on procurement, which affect every purchasing decision made in the public sector.

A growing number of UK public authorities now handle tendering electronically in order to comply with the latest European Union legislation – and save both money and time – and the EU is proposing to make electronic tendering compulsory in the next few years.

NHS Foundation Trusts and NHS Primary Care Trusts across the Midlands, Merseyside, London and Yorkshire are among those who have posted more than 4,000 tender notices for services over the past year, including nursing services, mental health, pharmaceuticals and medical consumables as well as construction and building services.

Millstream’s managing director Tim Williams said: “Healthcare is a major area for procurement, with many NHS Trusts publishing notices electronically to give themselves the best chance of attracting a good number of quality bids, and therefore a wide range of options to chose from when they are awarding a tender for a specific piece of work.

“mytenders is a simple, one-stop solution for purchasers, with more than 700 UK public sector organisations already using the website to publish both low and high value tenders. The online tendering tools allow documents to be shared and submissions received through the portal, as well as managing clarifications through the Q&A function.

“We also send clients’ notices on to the OJEU and Contracts Finder so as wide an audience as possible can see the tender notices.

“Both large and small public sector organisations use the service but small district councils and NHS trusts probably gain the most benefit as they don’t always have full-time procurement staff to handle tendering.”

The NHS conference programme follows five themes, of which improving quality, shaping the reformed system and rising to the financial challenge all have implications for procurement, added Mr Williams.

“There is also a session on procurement in the NHS which will look at what the current, and future, EU rules on procurement will mean for the reformed NHS. The NHS Confederation event affords an important opportunity for us to help delegates in their decision-making as the NHS responds to change and establishes new ways of working.”

As well as mytenders, Millstream’s Tenders Direct website also allows private companies from all sectors throughout Europe who are seeking new business opportunities to identify real business opportunities from the public sector.

Visit Millstream at stand A46 at the NHS Confederation conference and exhibition at the ACC Liverpool from June 5-7.

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