NHS Orkney


NHS Orkney purchases a wide range of supplies and services from suppliers. In doing so we strive to get the best value for the tax payer. Price is not the only criterion – quality and reliability of supply are equally important. Procurement at NHS Orkney is jointly overseen by the Finance Department and Estates Department who between them undertake purchasing, storage and distribution and the roll-out, operation and maintenance of associated physical and IT systems.
National Sourcing
Where we differ from other local public bodies is that the need to achieve best value for the taxpayer overrides our desire to purchase locally. In practice this means that we purchase most goods and services under nationally negotiated NHS or public sector contracts from suppliers outside of Orkney. NHS Scotland National Procurement provides centralised support, including contracting, warehousing and distribution enabling us to realise substantial economies of scale. We have signed-up to a Scotland-wide initiative to source centrally under nationally negotiated contracts and, wherever possible, consumables are delivered directly from the NHS Scotland National Distribution Centre. Information on doing business with the NHS in Scotland is provided in the National Procurement Supplier Guide.


Local Sourcing
In some instances it clearly provides better value, or is only possible to source goods or services locally. Where these purchases are of £3000-£49,999 in value, three quotations must be obtained and the manager responsible must present a case for the bid selected. In the case of local framework contracts or purchases of £50,000 and over a tender process is used. Tenders that exceed EU defined thresholds must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union and contracts can be placed anywhere in the European Union.
NHS Orkney, like other territorial Health Boards, adheres to the guidance and provisions laid down in a number of local and national documents.
·       Scottish Government legislation and guidance governing Procurement can be found on the Procurement section of the Scottish Government website. In particular we follow the policies laid down in the Scottish Procurement Policy Handbook and its supporting notes.
·       We apply NHS Scotland National Procurement standards wherever possible, and apply their terms and conditions for suppliers. We also expect our customers to comply with the NHS Scotland National Procurement Supplier Code of Conduct contained in Appendix 5 of the NHS Scotland National Procurement Sustainable Procurement Policy
·       We are also bound by our own NHS Orkney Code of Corporate Governance (Procurement is covered in Section F, Subsection 13). Among other things this explains our procurement process in detail.

Notes to Suppliers

Whilst we are often already purchasing via established contracts; in the interests of promoting competition and encouraging efficiencies we welcome approaches from suppliers.
Internally, requests to purchase any commodities that are not on national contract and not required urgently are submitted by Heads of Departments in writing to the Procurement Operational Group for consideration. They meet once a month and will ask why similar items already in stock or on contract cannot serve the same purpose. The manager requesting the product must present a very good legal, operational, technical or economic reason to adopt a new commodity as much effort has been put into establishing control and achieving savings through standardisation. The Medical Equipment Group and Capital Group perform the same function for purchases of medical equipment and large capital items (typically anything over £5000 in cost).
Should you wish to discuss the possibility of supplying NHS Orkney, in the first instance you should approach the Procurement Assistant, Tina Gilbey, on 01856 888915 or email tinagilbey@nhs.net.