NHS Estates has started the national roll-out of its Procure 21 scheme, placing a notice in the European Union’s Official Journal. The scheme involves the creation of partnering frameworks to deliver regional NHS treatment centres.
Procure 21 is being piloted in the North-west and West Midlands, and contractors have been signed up for more than £260m of schemes.

Each framework will comprise a number of integrated supply chains. Each NHS Trust will then select a partner from the framework by August 2003 to deliver the treatment centres.

NHS Estates chief executive Peter Wearmouth said Procure 21 had shown that months could be cut off procurement times. He said: “Trusts remain in control and they do not need to advertise for each scheme.”