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Category tower contract challenge dismissed

Can DHL win appeal for £730m NHS logistics contract?


The high court has dismissed a challenge by a private company to an NHS logistics procurement decision.


The Department for Health and Social Care awarded a £730m equipment and supplies logistics contract to Unipart, the multinational logistics consultancy based in Oxfordshire. The previous provider, DHL Supply Chain, a division of the German postal service, challenged the decision in the Technology and Construction Court.


DHL runs the procurement element of NHS Supply Chain (previously known as future operating model) under a contract with NHS Business Services Authority. This arrangement expires in October. NHS Supply Chain, which went live in April, organises procurement spend into 11 category towers all supported by a new logistics and IT infrastructure. DHL Supply Chain has contracts for several other category towers, including ward-based consumables and wound care.


DHL Supply Chain challenged the handling of the procurement process and claimed that Unipart could not meet the terms of the contract. Unipart intends to subcontract some of the service to Bedford-based healthcare logistics specialist Movianto.


DHL Supply Chain plans to challenge the decision.


Further information

British and Irish Legal Information Institute: DHL Supply Chain Ltd v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

HSJ: DHSC wins legal case over £730m logistics contract

NHS Supply Chain: Supply Chain Co-ordination Limited of NHS Supply Chain (includes an infographic listing category tower service providers)