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Q+ A - Scottish hospital building framework

As plans for a new hospital building framework are launched for Scotland, Construction News looks at what this will mean for the industry.

What will the framework involve?
NHS Scotland will appoint between three and five Principal Supply Chain Partners (PSCPs) to undertake capital projects on behalf of NHS Boards and Special Health Boards throughout Scotland. The framework will be a strategic and flexible partnering approach to procurement of publicly funded construction work and will complement other procurement initiatives in development such as the hub initiative.

Where is Scotland will the work be?
The PSCPs must be able to undertake capital projects in all areas of Scotland. The principle focus of the work is anticipated to be around the acute sector and will reflect a combination of new build and refurbishment work.

How much work will go through the framework?
Initial estimates of annual NHS Scotland capital expenditure relating to framework activity are in the order of £100-150 million per annum.

What does NHS Scotland see as the benefits of the framework?
The following key benefits are anticipated: earlier and faster delivery of projects; certainty of time, cost and quality; value for money; and well-designed buildings procured within a positive partnering environment.

Who would be in the main contractors’ teams?
The PSCP’s supply chain will consist of architects; structural and civil engineers; building services engineers; cost consultants; and building services installers as a minimum.

What form of contract will be used?
The Engineering and Construction suite of contract documents, NEC 3.

What work will the winning firms be responsible for?
The PSCP may be engaged to undertake a variety of duties including service strategies, estate strategies, business planning, developing the brief, design development and construction works. In addition to the construction phase of a project, the PSCP can be appointed at various stages in the capital project planning process from the Initial Agreement stage, Outline Business Case stage or up to the Full Business Case stage.

How long will the frameworks last?
The PSCPs will be appointed for a fixed period of four years, with an envisaged optional extension of 2 years.

When will the frameworks be procured?
It is proposed that the OJEU notice will be posted in the spring. This will be followed by sending out of the prequalification questionnaires and memoranda of information to interested firms. Tender documentation will be issued in summer 2008 and PSCPs will be appointed to the framework in late autumn 2008.

Is anything else up for grabs?
A framework for professional services is also proposed to sit alongside the main PSCP framework to allow the NHS Boards to appoint technical advisors. This would be to fulfil the roles of Project Manager, Supervisor and Cost Advisors required under the NEC Contract, CDM Co-ordinators and Healthcare Planners. The programme for the professional services framework will be concurrent with the main PSCP framework with advisors appointed to this framework in late autumn 2008.