New rule means NHS buyers must add social value to tenders

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
31 March 2022

NHS organisations must take account of net zero and social value in the procurement of goods and services from 1 April.

NHS England said requirements for central government to take into account social value – contained in a 2020 Procurement Policy Note (PPN) – would be extended to healthcare.

“From 1 April 2022, NHS England will extend the reach of PPN 06/20 to the commissioning and purchase of goods and services by NHS organisations, as well as to organisations acting on behalf of such commissioners and purchasers. All such organisations will be required to adopt and apply those organisations PPN 06/20 as if it applies to them,” said NHS England in a report.

The report said NHS organisations must apply a net zero and social value weighting in tenders of at least 10% and questions on these issues should be included.

The report said adoption of the PPN would be supported by a new Sustainable Supplier Assessment, to be released this year, and a “suite of supplier expectations and requirements from 2023 to 2030, ensuring that all suppliers meet or exceed the NHS commitment to be net zero by 2045”.

NHS England said it had over 80,000 suppliers and more than 60% of the NHS’s carbon footprint was in its supply chain.

“The principal aim of procurement undertaken by NHS organisations is to deliver essential goods and services and improve patient outcomes, while increasing value from every pound spent in the NHS,” said the report. 

“NHS procurement also has an essential role to play in the delivery of the NHS commitment to reach net zero by 2045, as more than 60% of NHS carbon emissions occur in the supply chain.

“Social value, when incorporated effectively, will help reduce health inequalities, drive better environmental performance, and deliver even more value from procured products and services.”

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