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Scottish health firms mirror English list

The shortlist for a £900 million Scottish hospital building framework is dominated by firms working on ProCure 21, the English programme it is based on

Balfour Beatty, HBG, Interserve and Laing O’Rourke, which between them have taken nearly £2 billion of ProCure 21 work since the framework was first introduced in 2002, have all been chosen by client Health Facilities Scotland to bid for places on Framework Scotland.

The framework, which will be used to deliver around £150 million-worth of healthcare projects each year for six years, will be available to all Scottish NHS boards and will allow them to select contractor-led supply chain teams to deliver projects they have in planning.

Fighting it out with the four ProCure 21 firms will be Carillion, Morgan Ashurst, Morrison and a joint Robertson/Dawn team. Four further firms prequalified for the programme but did not make the cut for the shortlist.
Tender documents were sent out to the eight teams last Friday. Health Facilities Scotland staff are set to put each firm through its paces over the summer. Bidders will be expected to submit cost analysis, estimated overheads, profits and consultancy fees for work they might carry out under the framework.

Each can also expect visits to their current sites, complete projects and headquarters to validate claims about the way they run their businesses, as well as formal interviews.

Between three and five winning teams will be chosen in October. Work will start on the first schemes straight away.

Tendering for frameworks covering project management, cost consultancy, planning supervision, CDM co-ordinators and healthcare planners was also launched last week.

An information day was due to be held today in Glasgow to introduce the bidders to representatives of the 14 Scottish NHS boards that will be using the framework.

Analysis: Local bidders can make a strong case

By Alasdair Reisner

In 2006 when the Welsh Assembly Government chose contractors for its Designed for Life framework for the principality, there was little surprise that the three teams it picked - Interserve, HBG and Laing O’Rourke - were all successful ProCure 21 partners, the model that it had based the framework on.

So with these firms again featuring heavily on the shortlist for Scotland’s own version of the programme, will we see a repetition of this situation, with P21 firms using their relevant experience to shut out potential rivals?

By throwing their hats in the ring, Robertson, Dawn and Morrison clearly think not - and a look at what Health Facilities Scotland is demanding from firms on Framework Scotland reveals why they may have a case.

A central requirement is the ability to do jobs across the whole of Scotland. These Scottish firms will not be shy about pointing out their track record away from the bright lights of the central belt. You can also be sure they will be asking whether their rivals can do likewise.