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ProCure 21+ chief believes Trusts will stick with framework

ProCure 21 programme manager Ray Stephenson has told contractors he is winning the battle to persuade NHS Trusts not to procure work outside frameworks.

Mr Stephenson conceded that some Trusts were looking to tender work individually during the recession to get cheaper bids.

But he told delegates at the Construction News Healthcare Construction conference in central London yesterday that he was determined to persuade them to use ProCure 21 and its successor ProCure 21+.

He said: “We do hear Trusts saying ‘Why work with frameworks in this climate? We’ll tender traditionally and get lower costs.’

“But I tell them ‘Yes you’ll get lower costs – you’ll also encounter all the difficulties of the past. Traditional procurement would lead to a claims culture, and the legals will be more interested in your sites than if you used ProCure 21.’”

He added: “I believe we are winning this battle.”

The £4 billion ProCure 21+ framework went into OJEU earlier this month, with the deadline for expressions of interest midday on 9 July. It is understood 15 contractors will be shortlisted for the framework, and a maximum of 12 selected for places on it.