Partners in the Procure21 initiative have received assurances that its role and status will be clarified by the end of the summer after a period of uncertainty.

NHS Estates, which used to run the scheme, was dissolved before the election in a step that left the initiative without clear management. This had led some commentators to fear for the future of the scheme.

However, firms in the framework say they have now received promises that Procure21 will be given a clear place at the Department of Health by the end of summer.

David Slack, HBG’s Procure21 director, whose firm has just won £60m of additional P21 work, said: “We were firmly part of NHS Estates and have not yet been given a definitive view of how the team will sit in the department.

“The exact workings of the reporting structure have not yet been finalised but Peter Woolliscroft [the head of the Procure21 scheme] has said he is hopeful that something will have been cleared by the end of summer.”