We recently saw a presentation by Max Clarke, PACS Manager at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who discussed the procurement procedure and different strategies to consider when replacing your PACS. She highlighted some of the key potential pitfalls and delays that could occur, as well as reminding project teams of the importance of communication during the process.

She considers some very good points that we, at BridgeHead Software, have certainly come across, and even raised ourselves during meetings with NHS Trusts. In particular, is the underestimation of the length of time an OJEU procurement can take and how many project team members need to be involved in the process. Typically, items can easily be missed off an OJEU, or clarification may be required on certain points, all of which require an additional information statement to be issued. This not only takes extra time and effort to submit, but delays the overall process. It’s also very important to ensure all stakeholders are involved during the planning stages as we have come across Trusts that have had to change their tenders, often when quite a way down the line, as they had not realised a key person had not been consulted.

Thinking through a tender properly, before even entering the procurement process, can easily take a Trust six months to a year. This is far longer than most of us would envisage, but will ultimately save time and effort in the long run!