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United Kingdom-London: Medical equipments
Contract award notice
Results of the procurement procedure
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Oxygen and Ventilator Workstream: Clinical Items — Sino Medical-Device Technology Co. Ltd (2)
The purchase of medical equipment and medical consumables by the Department of Health and Social Care direct from suppliers as part of the response to the Covid-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom.
Section IV: Procedure
In March the NHS across the UK had access to approximately 8 000 ventilators. Modelling based the trajectory of other European countries forecast the need for significant and extremely rapid increase in the UK ventilator capacity. The Prime Minister outlined the need in March 2020 for a rapid increase in ventilator capacity recognising that Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country had seen for decades and that we faced a moment of national emergency. Significant quantities of extra ventilators would be required to treat seriously ill patients during the first wave of infections. Shortfalls in equipment and consumable stocks were identified globally. Pressure to increase manufacturing capacity was immense, requiring urgent action and rapid delivery to meet demand. In these circumstances a procurement following the usual PCR 2015 timescales, including accelerated options, was impossible. Manufacturers and supply chains were under immediate and unprecedented global pressure to provide products. A delay in engaging with the market by running a usual procurement process ran the risk of failing to acquire the necessary stock of equipment and consumables essential for the safe operation of ventilators and presented a significant risk to life. The Department is satisfied the tests in Regulation 32(2)(c) are met:
1) purchasing these items was identified as strictly necessary to meet anticipated demand;
2) it is responding to Covid-19 immediately because of public health risks presenting a genuine emergency;
3) events leading to the need for extreme urgency were unforeseeable: the EC itself confirmed: ‘The current Coronavirus crisis presents an extreme and unforeseeable urgency — precisely for such a situation our European rules enable public buyers to buy within a matter of days, even hours, if necessary.’;
4) there was no time to run an accelerated PCR process particularly in light of the corresponding delays to timelines associated with securing increased manufacturing capacity and component supply within the required timescales;
5) it has not done anything to cause or contribute to the need for extreme urgency.
Section V: Award of contract
Section VI: Complementary information
Covid-19 is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern as declared by the World Health Organisation on 30 January 2020. The WHO Director General characterised Covid-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The use of ventilator equipment is critical in treating patients with Covid-19 to take over the body's breathing process when the disease has caused the lungs to fail and allow the patient time to fight off the infection and recover. The ‘Ventilator Challenge’ was created by the UK government and delivered across several government departments (Department of Health and Social Care, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence) as part of the drive to increase ventilator supply and support the UK National Health Service (NHS) in its response to the Coronavirus disease global pandemic (Covid-19). A key part of this requirement was to ensure that sufficient medical equipment and medical consumables were available to operate the existing and increased ventilator capacity It was recognised that buying sufficient items to support the increased ventilator capacity was going to be a challenge and a dedicated sourcing team was established within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to be responsible for procuring medical equipment and medical consumables required for the operation of ventilators from suppliers. Suppliers worldwide were considered by the sourcing team. The sourcing team worked in conjunction with NHS Supply Chain who have also ordered medical equipment and medical consumables through their existing framework arrangements. This contract award notice is one a number of notices that cover all of the direct purchases by DHSC for the purchase of medical equipment and consumables from a range of suppliers. The approach to procuring medical equipment and medical consumables from the market was identical for all direct purchases. These purchases occurred across the world with an emphasis, due to the availability of stock and manufacturing capacity, on the People’s Republic of China. International purchases have been supported and facilitated by UK Embassies with Embassies conducting due diligence checks, confirming stock existed and following up on leads and referrals from across Government. This facilitation includes arranging contracts with suppliers with DHSC paying for the purchasing of all goods directly. All medical equipment and medical consumable offers were assessed primarily against clinical need and the ability to supply and deliver the orders within timescales required.