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NHS: Procurement

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department has issued to collaborative procurement hubs on the composition of procurement committees; (165947)

(2) what mechanisms are in place to externally audit cost savings made through the joint procurement practices of collaborative procurement hubs;

(3) what the methodology is for calculating cost savings made by collaborative procurement hubs; and upon which formulae this methodology is dependent;

(4) whether collaborative procurement hubs are required to publish minutes of their meetings;

(5) what procedures have been put in place by the Supply Chain Excellence Programme to regulate the procurement decisions of collaborative procurement hubs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the role of the collaborative procurement hubs is in procuring mental health services from the voluntary and independent sector on behalf of primary care trusts; and if he will make a statement; (165788)

(2) what the role of commissioning frameworks established by collaborative procurement hubs will be; and if he will make a statement.

The Supply Chain Excellence Programme launched a recommended core design for collaborative procurement hubs together with a suggested governance structure. Each hub determines the respective scope and governance arrangements consistent with procurement regulations and good practice, together with the establishment of its own stakeholder board (made up of national health service stakeholders and trust executive directors).

No formal guidance has been issued by the Department on the composition of procurement committees. Each hub has established its own procurement committees where appropriate, according to the needs of its NHS stakeholder organisations.

Collaborative procurement hubs are subject to the audit principles of their host NHS organisation.

The methodology for calculating cost savings made by collaborative procurement hubs are determined by each hub in full agreement with their stakeholder trusts to ensure local accountability.

Collaborative procurement hubs are hosted by NHS organisations and hold regular trust stakeholder board meetings. Agreed actions are recorded in minutes and published in accordance with the host publication scheme.

Collaborative procurement hubs provide trusts with guidance and direct support in relation to legally compliant and good commercial and procurement practice, as required. If a trust asks for support in procuring mental health services then hubs can provide as appropriate.

Collaborative procurement hubs do not play a role in commissioning frameworks. The role of collaborative procurement hubs is to provide the primary care trusts with appropriate commercial and procurement advice and support, in establishing access to the most effective arrangements.