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Navigating Challenges with Ambulance Tenders and Procurement Opportunities

As 2024 begins to unfold, and new tender opportunities become available, private industry suppliers will need to hold a firm understanding of how to successfully apply for ambulance tenders in the months ahead, as projected spending on the 2024/25 health budget looks to increase below parliament’s expectations. 

The UK parliament has agreed on a planned spending of roughly £190bn in 2024/25 in total healthcare spending in England. However, due to higher-than-expected inflation, experts now suggest that this would be a reduction in overall funding compared to 2022/23. 

Over in Scotland, the Scottish parliament has laid down their plans to allocate roughly £19.5 billion for existing health and social care delivery, with more than a third thereof, or around £13.2 billion allocated to frontline NHS boards for necessary improvements of health in localised communities. 

With new budgets allocated, this looks to be yet another tough year for the NHS in real-terms spending. Driven by financial challenges and economic hardships, tender opportunities, including ambulance fleet renewals, emergency medical service bids and healthcare procurement contracts, will only become more lucrative and attractive to private suppliers. 

Considerations of Ambulance Suppliers 

With an increase in new suppliers coming onto the market, ambulance suppliers and companies will need to ensure they have a successful game plan and strategy when applying for ambulance procurement tenders and blue light contracts

Before even starting the medical vehicle bid process, ambulance suppliers will need to know a few important things that can help set them apart from their competitors. 

Be Aware of Different NHS Trusts 

As a business, you would perhaps already know that different NHS Trusts exist across the country. Some research indicates that as of 2022 there are roughly 215 different trusts spread across the UK. 

This number, however, is subject to change at any given need, as new trusts can be created throughout the year, or smaller existing trusts might merge with a nearby local trust. 

More than this, each of these trusts will have different needs, and often require various services and suppliers. This would mean that as a business, applying for any sort of healthcare tender, it’s important to review what kind of trust is accepting tender applications, and what their needs may be. 

By reviewing the trust and getting a better idea of their needs, you will be able to determine whether an NHS trust can provide long-term or short-term contract opportunities and whether it would be worthwhile to pursue specific ambulance contracts. 

Understanding the Needs of Each Trust 

While we’ve covered some of the needs in the previous section, ambulance companies and service suppliers need to be vigilant when applying for any sort of ambulance supply contracts or medical vehicle procurement tenders. 

Early last year, the government announced that it would boost existing ambulance fleets by 10%, with NHS England and various NHS trusts bringing online more than 800 new ambulances. 

In total, roughly eight out of eleven trusts in England announced that they would order a combined 655 new replacement ambulances between 2023 and 2025. However, due to economic challenges, budget constraints and changes to public contract regulations, only 51 new ambulances were ordered in total. 

Perhaps the most significant misinterpretation here was that most trusts simply either replaced older medical vehicles or upgraded existing ones. The key here is to better understand the trust that you are planning to work with, what their needs are, and how much of their annual budget they are planning to use for medical vehicle bids and procurement.

Ultimately, this would ensure that you are applying for an appropriate contract and that you meet the requirements outlined in each contract. While some trusts may be planning to replace their existing fleets, others may simply be looking for service providers that can provide maintenance, upgrades or installation of new medical equipment. 

Consider Long-Term Planning 

While many NHS trusts across the country are booking private ambulance companies and services to respond to emergency calls, excessive spending could deter near-term obligations, leaving funding pools running dry. 

A report published by UNISON, a public service union, showed that roughly two-thirds of ambulance trusts across England are now paying commercial companies to attend emergency call-outs and provide care for critically ill patients. 

While this provides a lucrative tender opportunity for some private companies and organisations, this is not a long-term sustainable solution, and only further creates more challenges in the near term for ambulance trusts in the country. 

Instead, ambulance companies and service providers should look for more long-term opportunities that can be provided through the appropriate contracts and tenders. 

While some ambulance trusts may be looking towards private and commercial organisations to fulfil their needs, for now at least, this could change at any given moment, putting commercial stakeholders at risk of losing out on other potential ambulance tenders and emergency medical service tenders. 

Navigating Challenges with Ambulance Tenders and Procurement Opportunities

Multiple challenges already exist within the public procurement system. For small to medium-sized enterprises this creates a tremendous amount of new obstacles they will need to overcome in the years ahead. 

While it may seem that you and your business are going against these challenges independently, Defence Contracts International provides tailor-made solutions for any business trying to navigate obstacles and apply for ambulance service tenders. 

In-depth Knowledge

Defence Contracts International (DCI) provides businesses and leaders with the necessary resources to help them better understand the various intricacies and complexities of the procurement system. 

Our wealth of knowledge stretches over several years, and we provide suppliers with information on tender requirements and evaluation criteria to help build winning strategies with ambulance tenders. 

Expert Guidance 

DCI has an established reputation and a dedicated team of experienced professionals with proven success in securing ambulance contracts. DCI services are tailored to your business and the need to fulfill ambulance contract requirements.

Additionally, DCI tends to your business by providing the necessary support and knowledge every step of the way. By doing this, you have someone you can rely on to help dissect complex contract requirements. 

Market Intelligence

We have a wealth of resources available for your business. DCI’s Market Analytics tool can help you and your business better understand market needs and trends. More than this, DCI’s Archive Data platform allows you a look into the past by reviewing previous bids and helping you gain valuable insights into applying for ambulance tenders. 

DCI’s Bid Discovery and Market Leads tools enable your business to find the most suitable tender before any other competitor. By using these tools, you can constantly stay ahead of any competitor and know of new contracts that might suit your business. 

Unmatched Resources

DCI strives to provide your business with a wealth of valuable resources that can help make the tendering process feel less stressful. By tapping into resources such as tender templates, bid evaluation frameworks, and case studies of successful bids you will generate more knowledge and understanding of procurement requirements and the needs of public sector bodies. 

Make this your best year 

As the market and needs of ambulance trusts across the country continue to change, building a thorough understanding of the national ambulance procurement hub will enable you to better navigate certain challenges and come out on top each time. 

By using appropriate resources, and collaborating with experts such as Defence Contracts International, you will gain valuable insights, expertise and proficiency in fostering new relationships with public entities and organisations, and successfully stand out above your competitors. 

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