£1.7 bn decontamination procurement framework launched

Finance and accounting, procurement and workforce services provider, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), has unveiled a new £1.7 bn framework agreement designed to support NHS hospitals and theatres in managing sterilisation, decontamination, and repair of surgical equipment efficiently, and in turn help them meet clinical demand.

NHS SBS says its Decontamination Services and Solutions procurement framework offers ‘end-to-end decontamination solutions’ at a time at when the construction and roll-out of surgical hubs being scaled up to increase capacity and ease the pressure on elective surgery. An estimated 7.2 million people are currently on NHS waiting lists for operations like hip replacements, cataract surgery, or other types of care. Surgical hubs, specially designed and built for elective care, are being opened up countrywide. They are expected to give rise to at least 100 more operating theatres, help deliver two million extra routine operations, and cut waiting lists for surgical treatments over the next three years.

NHS SBS said: “Surgical and clinical teams are reliant on quick efficient turnaround of reprocessed and sterilised instruments to operate and undertake procedures. As part of this, effective decontamination of surgical instruments and equipment is essential for patient safety, and to avoiding delays and inefficiencies in hospital operating theatres.  As NHS Trusts constantly evolve and innovate to improve patient care and outcomes, that too comes at a cost. For instance, the increase in robotic surgery provision has created a need for specialist decontamination services to manage the reprocessing of highly delicate instruments.”

Comprising four lots (service types), NHS SBS’s framework agreement covers the provision of outsourced decontamination and sterilisation of surgical instruments either on or off site, and involves the cleaning, reprocessing, repair, and sterilisation, of surgical instruments to support surgery and other activities. It also includes options to procure specialist equipment for the reprocessing of High-Level Disinfection of Probes.

NHS SBS added: “The free-to-access framework agreement provides a convenient, compliant, and cost-effective method of purchasing decontamination services and solutions at pace. NHS Trusts can use it to choose and purchase goods and services from seven carefully selected suppliers, each of whom has undergone a competitive and rigorous selection process.”

Elaine Alsop, head of Category – Health, said: “Infection control has never been so important, and with the expansion of surgical hubs being ramped up, decontamination services and solutions are crucial to keeping patients safe.  Our all-encompassing Decontamination Services and Solutions framework agreement supports best practice and compliance, and drives sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Developed with NHS clinical stakeholders, NHS Trust procurement teams, and leading decontamination solution vendors, it has taken a high-level approach in reviewing the market, capturing service needs, and offering NHS Trusts the choice to combine multiple service options and offerings to suit their specific decontamination needs, meet challenges, and keep patients safe. “ 



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