10 April 2007 | Antony Barton
North West Wales NHS trust has won the sustainable procurement award in the Local Government Chronicle and Health Service Journal Sustainable Communities Awards 2007.
This follows several trust initiatives in recent years, including the Opening Doors Charter code of practice to improve relations and transactions between buyers and suppliers. It shows particular consideration to sustainability and creating opportunities for local companies.
Its apprentice buyer scheme, in its second year, draws local people into the organisation and helps them achieve certification in procurement. All training takes place through the local college and Career Wales network and the trust hopes to expand the scheme to the rest of the public sector next year.
The trust also introduced an e-auction for specialised furniture and a milk contract with local suppliers late last year. It is currently pursuing a woodchip tender for a new hospital. This will provide an environmentally friendly energy source.
The judges said the trust was the "way of the future" for public sector procurement: "It acts as an exemplar for others to follow in that it addresses all the key sustainability issues, illustrated with excellent examples of success."
Martin Jones, chief executive of the trust, said: "As a large organisation, we are very much aware of our responsibility to strive towards sustainable procurement. This is a responsibility in terms of the environment and supporting the local economy, while delivering the highest standards of healthcare."