Nigel Griffiths, minister for construction, Talks about procure21

I am delighted to provide a foreword to this supplement on ProCure21. As the Minister for Construction, I have been keenly following the excellent progress made by NHS Estates and was delighted by the success achieved when the initiative was piloted. The decision to make ProCure21 available throughout the NHS in England was welcomed by the whole construction industry and its increasing NHS client base.

As a member of the government, I am encouraged by the way that the NHS has fully embraced the principles set out in Rethinking Construction, written by Sir John Egan, and in the government’s response Achieving Excellence (1999). Egan, and Sir Michael Latham before him, pioneered the partnering approach to construction procurement. To see NHS Estates actually make this work is testament to the skills of its staff and the commitment to partnering made by the construction industry and the NHS.

ProCure21 embodies the principles of long-term collaborative relationships through integrated supply chains and working closely with the client from very early in a scheme’s development. Key to the success of ProCure21 is its principal supply chain partners being part of a centrally tendered framework for a minimum of five years.

During those five years, NHS clients will be able to select a partner without the need for another round of tendering. This is crucial, given that tendering timetables in the NHS can often be in excess of 12 months. It means that schemes can be delivered earlier, which not only reduces cost but also enables the finished facility to be made available to patients much sooner – a great benefit to us all.

I believe that the way that ProCure21 delivers in the NHS is the exemplar for partnering in the public sector. It is continuously improving and if it grows at the current pace it will become the preferred approach to construction management for all those public bodies able to use it. I congratulate all those at NHS Estates who are involved with the initiative and its success, and I look forward to being associated with them in the future.