How Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre combined their cleanroom requirements and worked with CCS to streamline their procurement.

The requirement

The Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) is one of the largest employers in the Wirral, and supports the health and wellbeing of the community, while also playing a lead role in research, education and innovation.

WUTH led a collaborative project with the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, to procure a total rental service of cleanroom garments and mop heads for the pharmacy department at both hospitals. The pharmacy aseptic unit at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is moving to a new purpose built facility in Liverpool. One of the stipulations of the contract was that the supplier must be capable of providing the service supply to the Arrowe Park Hospital in Upton, Wirral and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool.

The challenges that the Trust faced is that although significant, the Trust’s cleanroom garment consumption is not large enough to influence market prices, and as there are very few suppliers offering the service the opportunity to reduce prices through a competitive procurement exercise are somewhat limited. The Trust also faced a time constraint challenge due to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre relocation, as the garment rental contract was required to be in place on opening. 

In summary, the Trust’s objective was to procure a total rental service which would satisfy the requirements for best quality, best price and best service and which could be operationalised for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre relocation in June 2020. 

The solution

WUTH chose to use our Linen and Laundry framework (lot 3 – cleanroom services) as it provided both Trusts with a compliant route to market which has not previously been available for laundered aseptic garments. 

Due to the niche nature of the service and the limited number of suppliers, there was no advantage to the Trust in undertaking a standalone EU procurement exercise and it was therefore in their best interest to join an existing framework agreement, where their consumption could be added to that of other users to create a “basket” that is large enough to attract discounted market prices. The framework also reduced the procurement exercise timeframe.

We provided the Trust with expertise and advice for the development of the service specification. This ensured that all the requirements were covered and clearly articulated within the specification and further competition documents which helped to ensure that the bids received fully met the requirements of both Trusts. 

The performance standards and KPI’s that are attached to the framework provide the basis of the service level agreement between contractor and Trust, and act as a tool for contract and performance management.

Our frameworks also provide assurance that all suppliers are viable and comply with all relevant laws, having been selected via an OJEU compliant procurement exercise. Using the framework also provides an escalation route should there be any contractual or performance issues with the contractor 

The result

The Trusts did not benefit from savings from using the Linen and Laundry Framework as the garment requirements had doubled from the original contract requirement. However, WUTH benefited from streamlining the pharmacy requirements by removing items which were not required from the contract, which saved a total of £6.89 per wearer. They also made further savings from various items being cheaper, saving an additional £0.55 per wearer. Without the framework the cost of the new requirements with the incumbent supplier would have been far greater. 

More importantly, by using the framework the Trusts have been able to improve the quality of the service ensuring that the aseptic pharmacy departments have a consistent and regular supply of clean room garments, which is important in achieving a high level of productivity, optimising production time and product output and thereby maintaining an income stream to the Trust.

The Trusts have benefited from fixed pricing for the duration of the contract, which has removed the price volatility risk associated with the previous contract. 

The Trusts have also benefited from a more robust suite of MI reports that support better contract management. Additionally, comprehensive contract terms and conditions that are provided reduce the Trust’s risk exposure and are more equitable than the incumbent contract. This has enabled the Trusts to manage the relationship with and performance of the supplier more effectively. 

Claire Macdougal BA (Hons) MCIPSl, Buyer at WUTH said: 

Crown Commercial Services Linen and Laundry framework has provided both Trusts with a compliant and effective route to procure rental laundered aseptic garments and has provided a contract which meets the Trust’s requirements at an affordable and fixed price. 

WUTH has used CCS Frameworks for many years and will continue to do so. 

Get in touch to find out how you can access specific cleanroom procurement through CCS.