Target Operating Model for Category Tower Service Provider contracts for NHS Supply Chain

Publication reference: 2021/S 000-028758
Publication date: 17 November 2021

F01: Prior information notice

Prior information only

Section one: Contracting authority

one.1) Name and addresses

Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) the management function of NHS Supply Chain

Skipton House, 80 London Road




Charlotte Davidson



United Kingdom

NUTS code

UK - United Kingdom

National registration number


Internet address(es)
Main address

one.2) Information about joint procurement

The contract is awarded by a central purchasing body

one.3) Communication

Additional information can be obtained from the above-mentioned address

Electronic communication requires the use of tools and devices that are not generally available. Unrestricted and full direct access to these tools and devices is possible, free of charge, at

one.4) Type of the contracting authority

National or federal Agency/Office

one.5) Main activity


Section two: Object

two.1) Scope of the procurement

two.1.1) Title

Target Operating Model for Category Tower Service Provider contracts for NHS Supply Chain

Reference number


two.1.2) Main CPV code
  • 79418000 - Procurement consultancy services
two.1.3) Type of contract


two.1.4) Short description

The NHS spends approximately 5 700 000 000 GBP on goods each year. The procurement and supply of this large range of products is vital to the delivery of an effective, efficient, and resilient healthcare service.

There are currently 11 specialist buying functions known as category towers, delivering clinical consumables, capital medical equipment and non-medical products such as food, hotel, and office solutions.

In 2018, and as part of the Future Operating Model for NHS procurement, SCCL (the management function of the NHS Supply Chain) entered contracts with 11 Category Tower Service Providers (CTSPs) to provide procurement services to any or all of the following: any NHS Trust, any NHS entity; and any government department agency or other statutory body and./or any private sector health care provider of NHS funded care.

This PIN is to help inform the strategy to best meet the future procurement and supply chain needs of the NHS in England, and to inform the market that SCCL is reviewing their approach to the market for the delivery of its Category Towers.

Please note that the final structure and approach to the Target Operating Model for Category Towers and the Category Tower Service Providers (including in respect of any lotting strategy) will be determined as a result of the market engagement and will be set out in the Contract Notice for any related future procurement. SCCL reserves the right to use lotting strategies as part of any future tender process. Any final contract(s) may feature multiple procurements/lots.

Given the range of requirements across the 11 Category Tower Service Provider contracts and based on the current contract term of 3 + 1 + 1 years, the average Contract Year Target Open Book Cost for a Category Tower is £3.9 million (excluding VAT).

Any values stated within this PIN are indicative only of the current contracts. Anticipated contract values will be included in the Contract Notice for any related future procurement.

To assist with pre-tender market engagement and scoping of the procurement, interested parties are advised to express their interest in accordance with the information provided, within this PIN. Potential Providers are advised to refer to 'ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SECTION V1.3' below for further important information about Market Engagement Sessions including webinars and the pre-market engagement questionnaire.

two.1.6) Information about lots

This contract is divided into lots: No

two.2) Description

two.2.2) Additional CPV code(s)
  • 79418000 - Procurement consultancy services
two.2.3) Place of performance
NUTS codes
  • UK - United Kingdom
two.2.4) Description of the procurement

This PIN Notice relates to the Target Operating Model for Category Tower Service Provider contracts for NHS Supply Chain. There are currently 11 Category Tower Service Provider contracts as follows:

Ward Based Consumables

Sterile Intervention Equipment and Associated Consumables

Infection Control and Wound Care

Orthopaedics, Trauma and Spine, and Ophthalmology

Rehabilitation, Disabled Services, Women’s Health and Associated Consumables

Cardio-vascular, Radiology, Endoscopy, Audiology and Pain Management

Large Diagnostic Equipment including Mobile and Services

Diagnostic, Pathology and Therapy Technologies, and Services

Office Solutions


Hotel Services

SCCL will use the Market Engagement Sessions to outline the future strategic objectives for the NHS and share the key requirements of the Category Tower Service Provider contracts. Feedback from Potential Providers will be requested to inform the procurement strategy to identify an optimum solution.

The final approach and structure of the Category Towers will be confirmed within the Contract Notice.

SCCL intends to enter into contractual arrangements under which it will be entitled to appoint Category Tower Service Providers (CTSPs) as Assigned Agents to operate on behalf of NHS Supply Chain. Under this contractual agreement the CTSPs will procure frameworks for the provision of supplies and/or services which it will make available for purchase by 1) NHS Supply Chain, 2) any NHS Trust; 3) any other NHS entity or healthcare provider (including private organisations, primary care, community settings and social care); 4) any government department, agency, or other statutory body (including Devolved Authorities, Crown Dependencies and/or Pandemic Planning Programmes), and/or 5) any private sector entity active in the UK healthcare sector on behalf of a public-sector organisation listed in 1) to 4) above.

Full details of those contracting authorities who may be able to use the goods and services procured by the Authority will be set out in the contract notice.

This procurement is at the pre-tender stage. The purpose of this notice is to engage Potential Providers to understand market capability and capacity to deliver the requirements, understand Providers’ views, and to promote contract opportunities that SCCL (NHS Supply Chain) may procure over the next 12 – 18 months.

The commencement of the formal procurement process will be the subject of a separate notice (Contract Notice). Potential Providers should note that they will need to respond to the Contract Notice at the appropriate time.

Please note that the date of the Find a Tender Service Contract Notice is subject to change.

UK Procurement opportunities are now published on the new UK Find a Tender Service (FTS) and Contracts Finder, therefore please monitor those sites for the notification of the release of the documents for this procurement

two.3) Estimated date of publication of contract notice

11 April 2022

Section four. Procedure

four.1) Description

four.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: Yes

Section six. Complementary information

six.3) Additional information

This notice is for information only and SCCL, as the Authority, reserves the right to not proceed to tender. Additionally, SCCL reserves the right to discontinue the tendering process and not to award the contract.

The information contained in this notice, including information relating to the nature and scope of SCCL's requirements, the service classification of this requirement or the list of CPV codes, is only indicative of current thinking and is neither exhaustive nor binding and SCCL reserves the right at its absolute discretion to amend it at the time of issue of any further notice or notices or at any other time.

SCCL is not and shall not be liable for any costs incurred by those expressing an interest in participating in the market engagement activity advertised in this notice.

As outlined, the intention of this PIN is to:

1) Inform the market that SCCL is reviewing their approach to the market for the delivery of its Category Towers. SCCL have not set out a procurement strategy at this stage (see Section II.2.4)

2) Gauge market interest in this procurement

3) Engage with the market to develop the right commercial solution to meet SCCL objectives

4) Identify Potential Providers who would like to participate in the market engagement process, including webinars and completion of the pre-market engagement questionnaire.

As part of the Market Engagement activities, SCCL will be running Group Market Engagement Sessions. Given the current climate, the Group Market Engagement Sessions will be delivered remotely via online webinars. There will be a maximum of 2 attendees per organisation. It is currently proposed that the initial Group Market Engagement Session will be held on the following date/time: Thursday 9th December 2021 commencing at 2:15pm

The online webinars are one part of SCCL’s market engagement activity. All Potential Providers will have an opportunity to provide feedback by completing and returning a Pre-Market Engagement Questionnaire which can be accessed as detailed within this PIN.

ACTION: To register your interest in this PIN, express an interest in attending the webinars, and complete the questionnaire you should;

1) Register on the eProcurement Portal

Use URL, click on the 'Register Here’ link to access the registration page

2) To Express an Interest:

Click on ‘SQs Open to All Suppliers’ to get into the main section of the system, on the left-hand side, click on the Globe Icon, and under Sourcing select Published Opportunities then Current Opportunities

Express an interest by clicking on the 'Express Interest' button

3) To request Webinar attendance:

Submit a message via the eProcurement Portal which includes the following detail for each of your proposed webinar attendees (max 2 attendees): a. Organisation, b. Contact name, c. Job title of contact (including responsibility within your organisation), d. Contact phone number, e. Contact email, f. Organisation web link and g. Identify the Category Towers potentially interested in.

4) Pre-Market Engagement Questionnaire:

The questionnaire will be in the Attachments, you can download the document, complete it and return it in the Response Form (Q) within the qualification envelope.

Please note, all Potential Providers that register their interest may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and attendance at the Market Engagement Sessions may be subject to SCCL receiving a signed confidentiality agreement from organisations wishing to attend.

Invitations to the online webinars will be issued by email. Information given during the online webinars will be made accessible to all interested Potential Providers in due course, including those who have registered their interest but are unable to attend the events. Organisations not attending the Market Engagement Sessions, but still wishing to participate in future sessions are also advised to register as detailed above.