Procurement and contracting

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside - an integrated care board - is responsible for commissioning healthcare services for our local population.

This includes commissioning or ‘buying’ healthcare services from a range of providers for our population and purchasing goods and services for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside itself.

Our commissioning ranges from small one-off purchases for goods or services, to large, complex, multi-service contracts with our local NHS Hospitals and independent providers.

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside is a statutory public body that was formed in July 2022 from the nine previous Cheshire and Merseyside Clinical Commissioning Groups. As such, all historic contracts have transferred to NHS Cheshire and Merseyside (circa 5,000 agreements) and we are now going through a period of transition and reviewing all of our contracts for goods and services across our geography, to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our population.

Over time, the intention is that contracts held by the previous nine statutory bodies will be streamlined, where possible, where there is commonality of service or provider, to ensure consistent and equitable services for our patients and the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside corporate infrastructure.

As a public body, we are required to ensure value for money in our purchases and in doing so, must follow the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations (2015) and the NHS Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition Regulations (2013).

These regulations ensure that we act in a fair, open and transparent manner when procuring goods and services.  We must also adhere to our own internal Standing Orders and Standing Financial instructions, which ensure purchases are authorised in line with our Scheme of Reservation and Delegation and ensure we are cognisant of any potential or actual conflicts of interest.

When reviewing the best route to purchase goods and services, we will consider a range of options available:

  • Variation of an existing contract, in line with the requirements of the Regulations
  • Open competitive procurement
  • Purchase from one of the national or local framework contracts available to us either by directly awarding a contract to a single provider or through a ‘mini competition’ process.
  • Direct award of a contract to a single provider without competition and publication of an appropriate notice on an exceptional basis.

A history of procurement decisions made since July 2022 and any associated contracts awarded can be found in the relevant Procurement Decision Register: