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NHS Supply Chain: Food appoints new distribution partner

19 November 2019

NHS Supply Chain: Food, the organisation responsible for the sourcing and supply of food for NHS trusts across England, has appointed Bidfood as its new distribution partner for the multi-temperature framework. The contract will run for two years, with the option to extend for a further two years.

The partnership between NHS Supply Chain: Food and Bidfood creates a national route to market for all NHS Supply Chain food deliveries, with fresh, chilled, frozen and ambient products to be transported on specialist multi-temperature lorries.

Rona Miranda, Account Director, NHS Supply Chain: Food, said: “The appointment of Bidfood as our distribution partner represents a transformational change for NHS Supply Chain and the NHS as a whole. This deal means NHS trusts will be able to order all of their food products from one approved portal and have them delivered via one approved supplier, supporting the very essence of the NHS Supply Chain Operating Model. Our new national route to market enables the consolidation of all food categories to provide greater levels of transparency, pricing standardisation, efficiencies and of course, savings.”

Currently, NHS Supply Chain’s network is set up to deliver ambient products only, meaning other products have to be ordered through alternative frameworks and delivered separately.

Tim Adams, Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales at Bidfood commented: “We’ve worked with NHS Supply Chain for many years and are delighted to build on our strong partnership and play our part in a strategy that will bring significant sustainability benefits and efficiencies. Full consolidation will mean fewer deliveries for hospitals, freeing up more time and resource to direct into the continued delivery of a quality catering service.”

This new national route to market will also mean the NHS is better positioned to contract directly with growers, producers and manufacturers. This makes it possible for small and medium sized suppliers to deliver their products into the new food logistics partner for onward delivery to NHS trusts across the country.

The new model enables NHS Supply Chain to better leverage the buying power of the NHS to deliver savings that can be reinvested into the front line. Other benefits include:

  • Trusts being able to place all food orders via one route to market
  • Transparency with one national price
  • Deliveries from fewer suppliers reducing administrative burden
  • Improved food safety governance
  • Reduced food miles.

Ordering with the new multi-temperature food distribution partner is due to commence in Spring 2020. Over 40 NHS Trusts will go live as part of phase one before the new model becomes available for all NHS trusts.

The appointment follows an extensive Public Contract Regulations 2015 procurement process where applicants were assessed on a range of criteria such as their financial stability, technical compliance and fleet specifications.

For further details, please contact your account manager.


Media Enquiries:

Jennie Gilleeney

Corporate Communications Manager

07714 043 391

Joanna Morrison

Head of Public Affairs and PR

07776 457 201

About NHS Supply Chain

All information in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products, services and food for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales.

Managing more than 4.5 million orders per year, across 94,000 order points and 15,000 locations, NHS Supply Chain systems consolidate orders from over 800 suppliers, saving trusts time and money and removing duplication of overlapping contracts.

Lord Carter’s report into efficiency and productivity in the NHS, published in 2015, identified unwarranted variation in procurement across the NHS, resulting in the need to improve operational efficiencies to transform a fragmented procurement landscape. To undertake this transformation the Department of Health and Social Care established the Procurement Transformation Programme (PTP) to deliver a new NHS Supply Chain.

The new NHS Supply Chain was designed to help the NHS deliver clinically assured, quality products at the best value, through a range of specialist buying functions. Its aim is to leverage the buying power of the NHS to negotiate the best deals from suppliers and deliver savings of £2.4 billion back into NHS frontline services by the end of the financial year 2022/23.

The new model consists of eleven specialist buying functions, known as Category Towers, delivering clinical consumables, capital medical equipment and non-medical products such as food and office solutions. Three enabling services for logistics, supporting technology and transactional services underpin the model.

Key benefits the new NHS Supply Chain will bring NHS trusts and suppliers include:

NHS Trusts

  • Savings channelled back to frontline services
  • Releasing more time for core clinical activities
  • Greater NHS clinical involvement in purchasing decision
  • More effective introduction of new products.


  • Lowering sales and marketing costs
  • Single route into the national market
  • A joined-up approach across the NHS
  • Clear route for innovative products.

On 1 April 2018, a new commercially astute management function called Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) went ‘live’. A limited company, wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, SCCL is part of the NHS family. The management function is responsible for driving commercial objectives, managing the category towers and enabling services whilst overseeing continuous improvement.