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National Ambulance Uniforms and General Workwear – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Please explain the governance in place for this framework agreement?

The framework is managed by NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services with support from the National Ambulance Uniforms User Group.
The national awarded items and pricing are accessible for all trusts to use. Trusts, however, are not permitted to make their own arrangements in relation to this framework for example with the framework suppliers, outside of the national governance that we have in place.

2. Please explain the use of the National Crest embroidery in Lot 1 Core Uniform Garments?

Most trusts agreed during the pre-tender engagement that they would wear the collective National Crest, NI Crest and Welsh Crest embroidery sewn into their garments, where the embroidery is required. Pricing for the Crests to be sewn into garments is included in the Cooneen awarded national framework pricing. Any trusts not wearing the National Crest, NI Crest and Welsh Crest have been advised in the November 2021 Project Outcome Briefing Paper, that they will pay an extra £0.90p per garment for Lot 1 Core Uniform Garments.

3. Previously we have run mini-competitions for our own trusts. Under the new National framework agreement, do we still need to do this?

No, trusts can purchase General Workwear Items (Lot Two) from 1 September 2022 at the new national framework agreement pricing. NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services will work with Ambulance Trusts to identify opportunities for National Ambulance service mini-competitions.

4. How do I order Core Uniform Garments (Lot One)?

Trusts must order using Cooneen’s Online Ordering Portal. Trust representatives have been involved in the set up of this portal during the contract launch period. As part of this process, each trust representative provided the specific wearer and entitlement information for their trust, which is built into the portal to make the ordering process more accessible and streamlined for all users.

5. How do I order General Workwear Items (Lot Two)?

To order products from General Workwear Items (Lot Two), trusts will need to raise purchase orders with the relevant supplier, stating the framework agreement reference number: 2021/S 000-031698.
Please note when purchasing Lot Two items from the supplier, Cooneen, trusts are asked to order from the Online Ordering Portal, which has been developed for Core Uniform Garments (Lot One).

See our Useful Links section for supplier contact details please view the Supplier Matrices on the Contract Information Page.

6. Can I order epaulettes through General Workwear Items (Lot Two) from the contract launch on 1 September 2022?

NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services plan to mobilise a strategic national project to explore mini competitions for epaulettes. This will start after the contract launch. As such epaulettes will not be available via the framework agreement from the contract launch, however, we will provide a further update on the outcome of the mini competition to the National Ambulance Uniforms User Group.

7. Is there an option to purchase shorts?

The option for shorts will be explored following the contract launch. A National Ambulance Service specification will need to be finalised initially as a collective group. This may also involve trusts carrying out their own risk assessments.

8. Is there an option to range extend?

Any request to add new items must be sent to the Procurement Category Manager for National Ambulance Uniforms. A scope and approval process is then followed with the National Ambulance Uniforms User Group Chair and Trust representatives.

9. Do you have a custom order form for trusts to complete when ordering made-to-measure and maternity wear items?

Trusts are able to order maternity wear via Lot two General Workwear Items from suppliers that are awarded the specific lot two product line required. For all Lot one Core Uniform Garments requiring maternity wear and also any Lot two product lines awarded to Cooneen, trusts are asked to complete the Cooneen Made to Measure Form.

10. Community First Responder Uniform

It was collectively agreed during the pre-tender engagement with the National Ambulance Uniforms User Group that CFR uniform was out of scope due to the number of variations across the country. Most CFR uniforms are also purchased through charities linked to the CFR groups. Ambulance trusts could purchase the EOC uniform or front line uniform for their CFRs if they wished, however some may already have their own arrangements already in place with other manufacturers.

11. How has sustainability been incorporated into this project?

Consideration was given during the pre-tender engagement with the National Ambulance Uniforms User Group (NAU). During the procurement process suppliers were asked to complete the Labour Standards, Modern Slavery and Carbon, Waste and Water Assessments. The fabric composition of the core uniform varies and depends on the garment, for example some are a mix of cotton and polyester. The ambulance crest embroideries are sewn on the applicable garments and heat transfers are used on items such as Hi Viz Jacket. The framework suppliers have their own internal sustainability strategies, such as responsible sourcing, repurposing redundant stock, use of recycled materials, fabric consumption reduction, reduction in cutting time and energy consumption. NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services and the Core uniform supplier are members of SEDEX which supports the development of improved labour standards and wellbeing. As part of our supplier relationship management process we will agree and monitor carbon reduction strategies and drive innovation to introduce the use of an increasing number of sustainable materials. There are several sustainability areas we are focused on delivering during the lifetime of the framework agreement, with the suppliers and the NAU User Group, including the use of recycled PET and BCI cotton in garments and visible carbon footprint management reporting. Please contact Mark Ainsworth NAU User Group Chair should you be interested in joining the NAU User Group as a Trusts Sustainability representative.

12. Can universities purchase from this new national framework agreement?

We have a standardised approach – the university wishing to purchase liaises with the Ambulance Trust operating in the same specific geographical location, to ask them to make the purchase on their behalf.

Next Steps

See our Downloads ▼ section for a copy of the NHS Special Measure Request Form. Use this to request special garment sizes from Cooneen.

Other awarded suppliers will provide trusts with their customer order forms. All supplier contact details can be found in the Supplier Matrices on the Contract Information Page.

Downloads ▼

  • NHS Special Measure Request Form

    Use this from to request special garment sizes from Cooneen.