NHS England update on Cervical Screening Programme
Procurement of Laboratory Services to Support the Delivery of the HPV Primary Screening Pathway within the NHS Cervical Screening Programme
NHS England has recently launched the procurement for laboratory services to support the delivery of the HPV primary screening pathway within the NHS Cervical Screening Programme with the intention of reducing the number of suppliers in England from the current 46 sites down to 9 sites. Information relating to this tender can be found here.
NHS Improvement is working closely with NHS England and with the Pathology networks in England to ensure we deliver safe, effective and efficient services centred around a consolidated approach to service delivery. Within the tender documentation, NHS England has provided the guidance below in regard to the workforce.
It is important that all current providers of this service take into consideration this information and start planning around the scenarios where centres are not successful for bids. It is an expectation that providers will be proactively working with staff groups impacted by this change to identify and begin planning the workforce change. The emerging Pathology
networks present an opportunity to develop new and equivalent roles for this highly skilled workforce, it also presents an opportunity for those members of the workforce with essential skills to be engaged to enable them to work across providers.
Experience from other nations that have undertaken this change demonstrates this approach is possible but acknowledges the requirement of forward planning. The NHS Improvement Regional Pathology Leads will be able to provide some advice and support via your identified network.
As referenced above NHS England has provided the following guidance:
- Bidders are required to take their own advice on whether TUPE or COSOP will apply to the tender and their specific bid.
- Agreement on staff to be transferred is the responsibility of the successful bidder and the existing provider(s).
- If staff do not transfer to the provider that is awarded the contract, that organisation has no responsibility for any redundancies. Any liability would reside with the organisation with which the employee holds a contract.
- Should staff transfer to the provider that is awarded the contract and that organisation subsequently makes staff redundant, for example, due to a reorganisation of the service (“economic, technical or organisational reason”), it will be that organisation who will be liable for any costs arising out of such a change
Please note providers should be directing any questions relating to the procurement itself through the clarification process detailed with the ITT Process Document.
Providers are strongly encouraged to involve both procurement and laboratory teams when responding to this tender.