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NHS Supply Chain’s logistics provider is suing the agency, which it claims broke procurement rules during a competitive process for a £4.4bn contract, court papers have revealed, writes HSJ.

Logistics firm Unipart’s legal action follows the company losing out on the chance to win a new 12-year contract to run core logistics services and transform the NHS’s national warehouse network.

Unipart has been contracted with NHSSC since 2019 under a deal, which expires in late 2024.

It has brought a claim at the High Court in London saying NHSSC broke procurement rules in the way it evaluated Unipart’s bid, as well as in the way it communicated its decision to the company.

NHSSC rejected these claims in its defence, which has been filed with the court.

A second company, understood to be Wincanton, also failed to make the shortlist. The firm began legal action against NHSSC around the same time as Unipart but has declined to comment on the matter.

Unipart was one of four companies that put in a bid to run the new service. NHSSC told the company in March it had not won a place on a shortlist of two to compete for the final contract. HSJ understands the two that were taken forward to the shortlist are DHL and US firm GXO. Regulations require that a procurement is paused while legal action proceeds.

NHSSC went to the market in June 2023 to find a new logistics provider. It wanted a core delivery service provider, moving devices, clinical consumables, and non-clinical products including food to NHS organisations around England.

It also wanted the winning bidder to help with the “future development of a warehouse network, which is currently made up of nine facilities strategically located across England” and support with a future pandemic response.

The procurement process was split into three stages. It started with an invitation to submit an initial tender, which included a questionnaire, with bidders required to score higher than three out of five questions to progress to the shortlist stage.

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Source: HSJ

Date: 13 June

Date: 13 June

Posted in News on Jun 13, 2024

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