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DHSC awards logistics contract to Unipart following legal fight

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What will be Unipart’s role in the new procurement model?

Department of Health and Social Care officials have awarded a £730m five-year logistics contract to Unipart, after winning a legal challenge brought by previous contractor DHL Supply chain.

The DHSC announced that Unipart was its preferred choice in June, but the contract was delayed by the high court action and a ministerial reshuffle, Health Service Journal editors have reported.

It is part of the new NHS procurement model outlined by the Carter report and scheduled to go fully live in April.

This aims to save up to £2.4bn by 2023/24, and to increase the proportion of trusts’ spending that is made through the NHS Supply Chain from 40% to 80% of £5.7bn worth of annual expenditure on common goods and equipment.

DHSC ministers argue that the health service should move away from the current situation in which 234 separate trusts each negotiate many different contracts and prices for the same products and services.

Trusts will not be mandated to use the new NHS Supply Chain service, but could see millions of pounds withheld in funding if they do not use it, according to HSJ.

Further information

Gov.uk: New logistics contract to help centralise delivery services for NHS trusts
HSJ: DHSC awards £730m NHS logistics contract following high court victory
Wellards: Category tower contract challenge dismissed