Procure 21, the government’s healthcare procurement framework initiative, is to be scrutinised under a review commissioned by the Department of Health.

It has appointed an independent management consultant to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, to enable the department to make a decision about future policy.

A spokesperson for the department said the study would be completed this autumn. He said: “It is about making sure that we get the future of Procure 21 right. There is no predetermined path and it is about making hard decisions to form the future.”

The consultant, Symbia, has been instructed to talk to various Procure 21 stakeholders, including contractors and the DoH.

It is the third review of the procurement route since it was launched in December 2003.

The future of Procure 21 was initially questioned after the first review, which recommended that NHS Estates, Procure 21’s sponsoring body, should be dismantled.