During this uncertain time, the Government is looking to partner with businesses that can support the medical sector.

Covid-19, also known as ‘Coronavirus’, has been described as the NHS’s ‘biggest crisis’ by the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ council, Professor Martin Marshall.

Learn more about the investments the Government is making to protect the public and how your business can support them by supplying the goods, works and services required by the healthcare sector.

What is Covid-19?
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading fast. The outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China is now a global pandemic.

Coronaviruses are usually known for causing disease among animals; however, the new virus, Covid-19, has made the jump to humans.

According to The Telegraph, 20% of confirmed cases have been classed as severe or critical, with the current death rate varying between 0.7% and 3.4%.

Budget Announcement 2020
The Coronavirus outbreak formed the most urgent element of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s first Budget speech on 11 March. Mr Sunak said that the Budget “holds one of the most comprehensive economic responses to this outbreak anywhere in the world.”

The Chancellor has promised that the NHS will receive “whatever it needs” to cope with the challenges of Covid-19. Funding will be allocated to additional research and staffing, on top of the £6 billion of new funding to provide 50,000 more nurses, 40 new hospitals and 50 million more GP appointments also promised during the Budget 2020 announcement.

The Government did not release an exact figure for extra funding resources to combat Coronavirus; however, Mr Sunak was clear that “whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS.”

Call for ventilators
On 16 March, the Government released a call for businesses to help manufacture NHS ventilators. The Government website stated it is “looking for businesses to support in the production and supply of ventilators and ventilator components.”

It is vital that patients critically ill with Covid-19 have access to a ventilator as the machine can get oxygen into the lungs and remove carbon dioxide from the body when people are too sick to breathe on their own.

As well as manufacturers, the Government has outlined the kind of skills they will need from industry and the supply chain as part of the nation’s Covid-19 response:
• Design/specification
• Rapid prototyping
• Contract/product assembly
• Certification/regulation/testing
• Logistics
• Medical training

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, has urged suppliers that can help to contact the Government Support Team using the following details:
Phone Number: 0300 456 3565

Email: ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk


All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his first ever budget to the House of Commons On 11 March 2020.

 Described as a budget that delivers on the Conservative party’s “promises to the British people” by Mr Sunak’s, this much anticipated, post-Brexit announcement, focussed on a number of areas.

 If you are unsure what the latest UK Budget means for SMEs, we explore the number of measures that have been put in place to directly support small businesses.

The power of businesses and supporting SMEs

Small businesses make up 98% of the UK’s business population.

Acknowledging this, Mr Sunak spoke passionately during the budget announcement about the importance of supporting SMEs and the impact that they have on Britains economy.

Before the budget was announced the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for a number of measures from the government, their main concerns being an immediate statutory sick pay rebate for small businesses struggling with the cost of self-isolating employees (due to the Coronavirus pandemic) as well as a number of tax changes, including a review of the business rates system.

Speaking to parliament and public he said that the Conservative party has a plan for prosperity that will “unleash the power of business.” The government plans to support small businesses that want to ”start up, grow and export.”

The main figures around SME investment are listed below.

Budget highlights

  • The Government has introduced a £3,000 cash grant available to 700,000 of the smallest businesses, paid by local authorities, which is worth a total of £2 billion.
  • Abolishing business rates altogether for this year for small firms in England whose rateable values are below £51,000, a tax cut worth a total of £1 billion.
  • Statutory sick pay for businesses with less than 250 employees (SMEs) will be refunded by the Government in full for up to 14 days per employee.
  • The launch of a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that will see banks offer loans of up to £1.2 million to support SMEs.

There were also a number of spending plans on broadband, roads, housing and rail announced during the Mr Sunak’s speech which, giving SME suppliers within construction and infrastructure a dose of prosperity as we move into the second quarter of the year.

Small business? Win big

On average the UK public sector spends around £284 billion on goods and services in the process we know as procurement. In recent years has encouraged small businesses to seek opportunities, as aims to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs, directly or through the supply chain, by 2022.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

Sign up to Supply2Gov tender alerts, and start receiving tender opportunities straight to your inbox. You will gain access to one free geographical location of your choice to help get you started.

Register for free

This month Wales’ largest procurement event of the year returns to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena for its fifth consecutive year, and Supply2Gov will be attending.

Officially supported by the Welsh Government and other leading procurement organisations, the event provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with SMEs and other suppliers across Wales that wish to grow in public sector procurement.

Get an insight into what topics will be shaping the agenda of the event, and how to engage with Supply2Gov on the day.

Promising changes to public sector procurement in Wales

Public sector procurement in Wales is set for an exciting future, and the changes ahead will be the centre of conversation topics at Procurex Wales.

The Welsh Government’s ‘Prosperity for All: Economic Action Plan’ shows a continued focus on delivering against the key areas of economic growth, equality, efficiency savings and collaboration, all with the purpose of creating a stronger, more inclusive Wales.

The National Assembly for Wales’ Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee recently consulted on public procurement in the current state of the economy and set out recommendations for changes for the Welsh Government to adopt in public procurement going forward.

These changes include:

  • Further encouragement and support are crucial for SMEs to get more involved in local procurement. Evidence suggests that small businesses need to receive more business support with the procurement process. To achieve this, the Welsh Government should focus on breaking contracts into small lots and pre-engagement activity, in order that SMEs can bid on lower-value contracts and build their relationships with other suppliers. More needs to be done to support not only SMEs, but public sector bodies who must build their knowledge and relationships with local suppliers.
  • A refinement of local procurement by the Welsh Government is needed – this includes identifying and measuring the impacts of local procurement on economies and providing further clarity on what the successes of local procurement are.
  • Spending public money on procurement that drives social value projects is not enough. More needs to be done to ensure suppliers are delivering on their social value promises and outcomes. One way this can be achieved is by monitoring the social value elements of a contract as the project progresses. The Committee has asked the Welsh Government to provide clarity on how it will be working with the Public Services Boards and the Skills and Capability Plan.

These new approaches show the platform for more effective, efficient and SME-friendly is there. There is also a commitment to build wealth within communities across Wales by encouraging local procurement and increasing the amount of local spend – by how much, we do not yet know.

Join in the conversation at Procurex Wales

Procurex Wales offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with all stakeholders involved in public sector procurement in Wales, including buyers, suppliers and the Welsh Government. Not only is it is the largest event of its kind, but Procurex Wales allows for informative, innovative and hugely important discussions to take place. These discussions will prove to be instrumental in paving the way for positive change in the sector.

Meet Supply2Gov on the day

The Supply2Gov team will be located at the ‘Market Support and Engagement Hub’ from 8:30 – 16:00. Come along and talk with us about how we can support you to win business in public sector procurement in Wales.

In addition to this, Supply2Gov will deliver a ‘Get Ready to Tender’ presentation at 11:50am. The talk will take you through a checklist of things you need to know and have in place before you submit your next bid, as well as what needs to be in your Selection Questionnaire responses. There will be a chance to ask any questions you may have on the presentation, including how Supply2Gov can help you.

Claim your tickets

Tickets to attend Procurex Wales are free for the public sector and £95 for the private sector. If you are an annual member of Supply2Gov, don’t forget that this gives you access to exclusive Procurex Wales tickets – claim here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Book to attend Procurex Wales