NHS Shared Business Services has appointed waste contractors to a contract framework, which is intended to reduce the time it takes for NHS organisations to procure waste services.
The ‘Waste Management and Minimisation Services framework’ is free to access for both NHS and other public sector organisations and lists suppliers who are able to provide six different types of waste services.
It is hoped that this would enable NHS organisations to provide a legally-compliant and value-for-money means of purchasing a comprehensive range of waste services, without the need to run a separate procurement each time.
NHS Shared Business Services said that each contractor was placed on the framework following a “robust quality evaluation” in the form of a fully-compliant Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) tender process.
The tender, inviting firms to be part of the framework, was issued in the OJEU and was split into six lots: clinical waste, reusable sharps, sanitary and washroom services, domestic Waste, Confidential Waste Destruction and Disposal, and Total Waste Management.
A spokesperson for NHS Shared Business Services, told Letsrecycle.com: “NHS and wider public sector framework users can procure services from those suppliers that best meet their individual requirements, saving significant time and money as a result of not needing to run a complex local procurement exercise.
“The framework was also developed with a particular focus on the environmental impact of the waste services provided, including the appropriate segregation, safe handling and recycling of clinical and domestic waste products.”
The first lot in the contract was for clinical waste, and six bids for inclusion were received from companies across England, all of which were taken forward.
Clinical waste covers the ‘collection, transportation, and appropriate disposal method at agreed locations’ for incineration, alternative treatment and/or landfill of clinical healthcare waste. This includes, pharmaceutical, anatomical, sharps and laboratory wastes.
The second lot covered re-usable sharps, which covers providing a “safe sustainable and compliant” managed solution for the implementation, supply, collection and cleaning of reusable sharp containers.
This would be, for example, where needles and other medical sharp equipment is disposed of after use.
Three of the six bids received were accepted.
This seems to be a remarkably good idea, that could be extended tough supply of many other goods and services and we might wonder why it has taken so long to get this off the ground.
I do wonder however, if in the longer term this is an invitation for collusion between supposedly different bidders, perhaps for waste-related services or for anything else, to push up prices or to pare back service standards thus defeating the intentions of this NHS Shared Business Services initiative.