Back in July 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published its Small and Medium Enterprise Action Plan which looked at its past performance and its future aspirations. Its aim was to ensure that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would have equal and fair access to business opportunities within the NHS.
NHS direct and indirect spend with SMEs has grown from 7% in 2010 to 22% by 2018. That’s well on the way to achieving the action plan’s goal of 33 pence in every pound of government spend going to SMEs by next year.
Levelling the playing field
SME engagement events and online ‘open competition’ tender and contract finders aim to open up the process to more and more small and medium-sized businesses, either on their own or as part of a consortium. How SMEs apply and engage with the NHS is also being simplified and improved, such as having a named contact for SMEs during the procurement process.
While the effects of Brexit and COVID-19 may impact the timelines and goals of the action plan, SMEs in increasing numbers are working with and supporting the NHS, particularly during the current pandemic.
Doing your bit
How can you help involve or include more SMEs in NHS tenders and contracts? You could stipulate in tenders to larger companies a requirement to include SME participation. Alternatively, break large contracts, where possible, into smaller parts which SMEs could fulfil. SMEs may not know how to tender, or even that they can, so contact with SMEs would highlight any barriers to their participation in NHS contracts.
Helping the NHS do more
For our part, Pure IT already provides hardware to a number of NHS Trusts. We offer Trusts better value for money on all their IT hardware, from desktops and laptops to monitors and tablets, all without compromising on quality. Cost savings range from £200 to £350 per unit compared to the same new: savings which can be made use of elsewhere for other NHS areas of need.
We supply around 15,000 units each year to NHS Trusts, the education sector, local authorities, and private sector businesses. That can be from an individual laptop to 1,500 units. Our desktops and laptops are fitted with i5 processors, 8GB RAM and SSD, so they carry out general office work just as fast as new ones, but at a fraction of the cost.
Backing up what we say
We also guarantee that all the equipment we supply is fit for purpose for five years or more. Our warranties ensure that if anything goes wrong with a unit, we send a complete replacement the next business day. That isn’t always the case with larger suppliers when a device needs attention:
- You can spend up to 40 minutes on the phone waiting to speak to someone (we answer within five rings)
- You have to answer lots of questions to work out what’s wrong before an engineer can even be booked (we only try to diagnose the problem over the phone if that’s what our customers want)
- If a replacement part isn’t at the engineer collection point by 11am the next day, the engineer can’t come out till he has the part (we send a complete replacement unit the next business day)
- The ordered part doesn’t fix the issue so a new part has to be ordered which can take another couple of days (because we send a complete replacement unit, there are never any concerns about wrong parts)
Thinking of the environment
From our research, the production of every desktop computer produces about 500kg of carbon dioxide in the manufacturing process. That’s the same carbon footprint as two return flights from London to Glasgow, according to a UK report*. This can be avoided each time you purchase a refurbished laptop or desktop from us at Pure IT: affordable, reliable, and sustainable.
Get in touch to find out how Pure IT supplies the NHS and how we can help you with your IT hardware needs.