From today, all NHS commissioners will be required to post information about tendering opportunities and contract awards on a new site, making it easier for suppliers to track down single opportunities and understand exactly what PCTs want. For commissioners, Supply2Health will help meet their legal requirements to advertise and potentially increase the number of suppliers responding to their adverts by reaching a wider audience.
When he launched the service last week, Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said:
"We are committed to make it easier to do business with the NHS. And in complex healthcare market we realise it's not easy to find the perfect match.”
"Talking to providers of all types, what was keeping people awake at night was the thought they may have missed an opportunity. That there was a PCT out there in need of exactly what they had to offer, but they simply didn’t know about each other.”
“If you want to be technical, it is an online procurement portal. But I like to think of it more as a sort of online dating agency. A Match.com for PCTs and providers.”
“Supply2Health is a place where PCTs looking for love and clinical services can place their ad, tell the world about who they are and what they want, and then wait for eligible suitors to come and sweep them off their feet.”
Is it likely to help IT suppliers be swept off their feet into wedded bliss? No - despite the positive launch last week, be aware that it does not cover all types of procurement, only “Part B Clinical Services” – something not mentioned in Ben Bradshaw’s speech.....
It looks as if smaller IT suppliers will have to continue to rely on either their rich grandmother’s contacts, or visiting the local pub, to find true romance.
Visit www.supply2health.nhs.uk – however, there don’t appear to be any/many opportunities on there yet – other than ones from a PCT called Testshire, mentioning Jill, Jan, Jack and John Test - Ooops.....