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Hospitals: Procurement

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department has issued to hospitals on the procurement of food from small, local producers. (205236)

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) has encouraged the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as national and multi-national suppliers, in tendering for framework agreements for food products to the national health service and this objective has transferred over to the NHS Supply Chain since they took over the role of food procurement in October 2006.

The tendering opportunities available to SMEs enabled their offers to be limited to deliveries within their preferred geographical locations and within their product range. Additionally, NHS PASA promoted the same procurement initiative for NHS trusts to adopt through their own direct contracts. NHS PASA also provided advice to ensure trusts remained in compliance with the European Union (EU) procurement directives as the specifying of local food could contravene the EU directives.

Within procuring for health and sustainability, trusts are also encouraged to work against the good corporate citizen toolkit.