|A supplier raised concerns about the service specification and lotting of an NHS property service framework. The supplier felt that ‘gritting services’ should not have been included within ‘hard landscaping services’ and instead should have been tendered separately.
||The NHS Property Service tendered for 33 lots across the country and conducted a number of market engagement events to inform their strategy. Feedback from the market was that suppliers favoured the breakdown of the framework into geographical lots, which provided opportunities for local SMEs. Within each lot there were several service pillars, with ‘gritting’ bundled in with ‘hard landscaping’. The NHS view was that gritting was not sufficiently specialist to warrant separating out and we agreed with this assessment. We did, however, recommend that supplier days were structured more formally so that the authority can effectively seek views and document the input from potential bidders and stakeholders in order to ensure discussion is captured and shared with all potential bidders, including those who were unable to attend. We also suggested that the contracting authority do more to encourage smaller suppliers to form consortia, for example by sharing details of those suppliers registered on their etendering portal.|