NHS awards ‘Soft FM’ contracts

NHS Property Services announces winning bidders for Soft FM contracts across England

NHS Property Services has completed the second phase of its national procurement exercise to streamline its facilities management contracts.

The move will not only save approximately 20% on the £200m contracts which are currently outsourced, but will ensure consistency in quality of facilities management services across the country and bring an end to the historicly-wide disparity in costs charged to occupiers of the company’s properties.

The company has announced the second stage of this exercise with the appointment of the following companies to carry out some of its ‘Soft FM’ contracts across England.

The successful bidders for Soft FM contracts are:

  • Cleaning Services - Ideal Cleaning Services and OCS
  • Feminine Hygiene - Phs Group
  • Grounds and gardens – Burleys and Mitie
  • Pest control – Mitie Pest Management Services and Vermtech Pest Control
  • Security - Mitie Security Services
  • Window cleaning -- Walkers CS and Cinderella Support Services

A final phase of awards for ‘Specialist Services’ will include catering, car parking, waste, asbestos surveys, hot and cold water surveys, and medical gases. These contracts will be awarded in April.

The appointment follows a nine-month rationalisation process of facilities management services across the entire NHS Property Services estate.

The process involved consolidating over 2,300 individual ‘Hard’, ‘Soft’ and ‘Specialist’ FM contracts. The Soft FM contracts have now been reduced to under 20, and this was undertaken via an extensive tendering and procurement process that was conducted through a system of local ‘lots’.

The rationalisation of FM services has never been achieved on this scale before and is set to save approximately 20% across the national estate from a £200m outsourcing operation for the NHS.

Wherever possible this saving will be passed on to customers. However, the level of savings may vary depending on the services being provided. Customer bills will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

Dennis Markey, chief operating officer at NHS Property Services, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our FM teams and marks a significant cost saving for the NHS. By reducing the number of contractors we employ, and setting a standard service specification, this process is driving efficiencies for the NHS while making it easier to manage and control contracts. It has already saved millions for the taxpayer which will have an immediate impact on the quality of patient care.”

Stephen Hibberd from Ideal Cleaning Services said: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded the contract for the provision of cleaning and domestic services in the West Midlands and look forward to working in partnership with NHS Property Services to deliver a high-quality service.”

The FM rationalisation process is being conducted in three programmes which have been running in parallel: the Hard FM rationalisation process was completed on 2 March, that for Soft FM services has concluded this week, and Specialist Services will conclude in April.

The newly-appointed Hard and Soft FM suppliers are now making arrangements for mobilisation to take place from 1 April.

Markey said: “This process of change will set a new standard for FM operations which will not only reap huge benefits for the NHS, but will change the way FM is viewed across the industry.”

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