Skip to main content

Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care Testing and Pathology Managed Services Buying Guide

This page provides an overview of how we can support you with your purchasing requirements for Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care Testing and Pathology Managed Services.

Our framework provides diagnostic testing equipment, consumables and reagents for use in Laboratory and Point of Care settings. It provides a flexible route to market for all pathology disciplines including but not limited to:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Genetics
  • Haemotology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Toxicology.

The framework covers a broad scope of the Laboratory Diagnostics and Point of Care testing market:


Pathology Managed Service


Blood and Cellular Services




Point of Care Testing


Laboratory Equipment and Consumables


Digital Pathology


Pathology Outsourced

Has not been awarded and will be going back out to tender.


Pathology One-Stop Shop

The procurement of this framework was undertaken following extensive engagement with various stakeholders including GIRFT, trade bodies, customers and suppliers to deliver a compliant contracting solution for NHS trusts.

With Objective Conditions, Framework Pricing and various Discount Models customers can use the option to Direct Award Call-Off their purchases and contracts.  Customers may elect to conduct a Further Competition where their specific requirements for goods and services, including managed services, are not defined in the framework agreement (but are covered within the scope of the specification).  

See our Downloads ▼ section for:

  • Product Matrix – An Excel file showing each Lot category and the suppliers that supply against each of these areas.
Scientist doing analysis of blood sample using a microscope and test tube in a lab.

Tender evaluation

The procurement process adopted was based upon an open tendering procedure as detailed in the European Communities Combined Directive (2004/18/EC). As there were a number of different lots, each lot was evaluated separately to ensure tenders for the same lot were assessed on the same basis.

The evaluation involved two stages, qualifying and award; those offers that met the qualifying criteria were then scored against the award criteria.

The qualifying criteria included assessment of the following:

  • Compliance of bid
  • Regulatory compliance of devices and products
  • Compliance with contract regulations
  • Compliance with terms and conditions.

The award element of the evaluation was subsequently carried out based on the following criteria:

  • Quality 60%
  • Price 40%.

The total quality score added to the price score gave the grand total of points and a position on the framework was awarded to all suppliers meeting the 60% overall threshold within each lot. 

During the tender extensive pricing and discount structures were captured from all the suppliers for both evaluated lines and additional lines.

Please note: If you are looking to carry our further competition these thresholds can be changed to meet your individual requirements. 

Framework Benefits

  • Reduced procurement timescales.
  • Over 500,000 products available via either the NHS Supply Chain catalogue or Direct with a Unique Reference Number (URN).
  • 0% Management Fees for Managed Service Requirements vs other framework providers
  • Easy and established direct award process including objective conditions to support compliant procurements.
  • Option to reopen competition to add in your specific and bespoke requirements.
  • Certainty of the maximum costs of any item or service within the scope of the framework.
  • Access to a broad variety of suppliers from large, established companies to SME and niche suppliers. Over 60% of suppliers awarded a place on this framework are categorised as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Flexibility to negotiate further terms and conditions where relevant, such as facilitating bespoke requirements and supplementary products.
  • Compliance with applicable procurement regulations.

Who can access the framework

The framework is intended to be accessed by any NHS trust, central government departments, devolved administrations, the wider public sector and third sector. Examples of eligible participating authorities are:

  • NHS Authorities, NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, Special Health Authorities, NHS Scotland Health Boards, NHS Wales Health Boards, NHS Northern Ireland Health Boards, Special NHS Boards and any other NHS entity
  • UK Health Security Agency
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Public Health Wales
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Department for Health for Northern Ireland
  • Health and Social Care Northern Ireland
  • Local Authorities
  • Any other bodies governed by public law (as defined in regulation 2 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102) (as amended). See our Useful Links section for further details
  • Academic or charitable institutions (including any such institutions that are not Contracting Authorities). Examples of such bodies can be found on the Charity Commission and NHS England websites. See our Useful Links section to view these websites.

Routes to market

Depending on the product and category area you can order directly with the supplier or via our online catalogue.

Diagram showing the procurement routes by lot on the framework

We can facilitate agreements for your requirements through our call-off procedure.

Call-off procedure

Supplier engagement

As part of the call-off procedure, participating authorities may wish to engage with framework suppliers in order to assess the appropriateness of the participating authority’s requirements. Where participating authorities perform such engagement, they should ensure that all suppliers are treated in a fair and impartial manner.

Capability assessment

As part of the call-off process and ordering procedures, participating authorities may choose to carry out a search using the supplier matrix to identify a longlist of framework suppliers able to perform / meet the minimum requirements.

Participating authorities can the carry out an assessment to determine that the framework supplier’s ability to meet all key aspects of the Statement of Requirements


Participating authorities should note that framework suppliers cannot respond to direct award and mini-competition processes with higher prices than those quoted for the relevant requirement under the framework agreement. Prices should only be equivalent or lower.


Participating authorities may agree discounted pricing with a framework supplier based on either:

  • The value or volumes of purchases made
  • Future value or volume commitments over agreed time periods.

Direct award process

In order to ensure a compliant direct award under the Framework, the participating authority must ratify a Call-off Contract based on one of the objective conditions. See our Downloads ▼ section for further information about the direct award process.

Further (mini) competition process

The Statement of Requirements will broadly define the goods and services sought. This statement will, as far as reasonably practicable, define outputs and minimum requirements. At this stage, it is essential to consider the following aspect:

  • Ensuring requirements are met and balanced with affordability
  • Whether peripheral services are required; Timescales.

Where criteria can not be established through information available through the framework, participating authorities may wish to seek further evaluation criteria, establish weightings or further commercial information or whole-life costs.

The Statement of Requirements is the specification for the call-off contract. One must be written for all call-off contracts as the initial step for every procurement process. Please contact our category team to request a copy of the Statement of Requirements document to complete..

Unique reference number

All non transacted (catalogue) call-offs will be provided with a Unique Reference Number (URN). This can only be given by our category team and is what ensures compliance to the framework. As part of this process we will validate the supplier offer and pricing inline with our framework agreement and provide the call-off documents you will require. This is also what supports requirements for providing our annual expenditure data in relation to Call-off Contracts awarded through the framework from awarded suppliers.

Next steps

If you are interested in purchasing Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care Testing and Pathology Managed Services through our framework then please get in touch. We will be happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

You can also learn more in our specific buying guides for:

  • Blood and Cellular Sciences
  • Genomics
  • Pathology Managed Services
  • Point of Care Testing.

See our Useful Links section to view the guides.

You can also contact our Hospital Care team who will be able to help manage this enquiry for you and help you understand some of the routes to market. See our Useful Links section to find your dedicated contact.

For all other enquiries or to purchase via a Direct Award or Further Competition please complete our enquiry form and we will be in touch.

Downloads ▼

  • Product Matrix

    An Excel file showing each Lot category and the suppliers that supply against each of these areas.
  • Call Off Process Direct Award

    Appendix 3a of the Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care Testing and Pathology Managed Services framework agreement.
  • Objective Conditions

    Appendix 3b of the Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care Testing and Pathology Managed Services framework agreement.