NCP FAQs Desktop Stationery, Envelopes and Laser Labels

1. What is the aim of Nationally Contracted Products (NCP) and how are the products chosen?

The aim of this NCP exercise was to change the range of envelopes from virgin fibre to Manila, making the range more sustainable and environmentally friendly and re-open the competition to awarded suppliers to ensure the best possible pricing for the NHS.

2. Which products have been included in this NCP?

The following products have been included in this NCP exercise:

Lot 1 Stationery:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Marker pens
  • highlighters
  • Books and notepads
  • Binders
  • Folders
  • Filing and storage
  • Multimedi;
  • Desktop accessories
  • Whiteboards
  • Noticeboards.

Lot 2 Envelopes:

  • DL: pocket, wallet, window and non-window
  • C4: pocket, wallet, window and non-window
  • C5: pocket, wallet, window and non-window
  • C6: pocket, wallet, window and nonwindow
  • Internal envelopes.

Lot 3 Labels:

  • 2 different lines – 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 65 labels per sheet.

A full list of all new products is available on the NCP Desktop Stationery, Envelopes and Laser Labels web page, see our Useful Links section for more information.

3. Which suppliers were successful?

The following suppliers were successful in this NCP exercise:

  • Banner Group (Lot 1)
  • Lyreco UK (Lot 2 and 3).

4 How will the new manila envelopes differ from the current virgin fibre envelopes?

The specifications of the new manila envelopes have been created using the current virgin fibre range. This means that there are no changes to sizes, window positions, window sizes or even closure mechanisms. In fact, each envelope should be almost identical to the virgin fibre product it is replacing apart from the colour. If there are any concerns samples can be requested from 1 November 2021 for the manila envelopes.

 5. What is the reason from switching from White to Brown EnvelopeWhat are the sustainability benefits of the new manila coloured envelopes?

Switching from white to manila Envelopes is more than just a colour change, it’s a material change from using 100% virgin fibre to a minimum of 80% recycled material. This not only helps reduce waste sent to landfills but also reduces the amount of harmful chemicals such as bleach used in the production process of virgin fibre white envelopes. Further to the above, it also supports the NHS’s circular economy of waste going out of the NHS to UK based collection companies to then be bought by our supplier. On top of this, we have also achieved a better and more sustainable price than the virgin fibre alternatives.

6. Are the envelopes suitable for use in mailing machines?

Each envelope is a like-for-like replacement to the virgin fibre product and can be used for all the same applications including being used in mailing machines.
7. Are any suppliers being delisted?

No suppliers are being delisted from the NCP.

8. Will all products be stocked in all depots?

All products will be available nationally. The stocking of products at specific depots will be determined by the level of demand.

9. What happens if the depot that services my trust is out of stock of the allocated product?

If stock within the supplying depot is unavailable, then orders will be fulfilled from another depot in the network.

10. Are the NPC codes changing?

No product codes have been changed as part of this NCP. You will not be required to change any standing orders, favourites, ordering patterns or require any unmasking. Just continue to order the same products as normal but benefit from improved pricing.

11. Do I need to make any system changes to update standing orders and favourite lists?

Updates to favourites lists, standing orders and eDC requirements will not need to be made.

12. What supply chain resilience can you guarantee if one of the suppliers has a supply issue?

The NCP procurement process includes a range of due diligence activities to ensure there is supply chain resilience and sustainable continuity of supply to NHS customers. Both NHS Supply Chain and the suppliers have increased stock holding and, in the event of any supply issue, direct alternatives will be supplied, at point of order, at no extra cost to the trust.

13. What will happen if I choose to order directly from the supplier?

NHS England / Improvement has been engaging with trusts directly over the expectation that they will support this national programme. Support from trusts is necessary to achieve volume savings for all partners.

14. What should trusts do if there are issues with the product they are allocated?

In the first instance please contact your Customer Services Advisor.

15. What if my trust is currently buying a similar product at a cheaper price?

Benchmarking prices using NHSI’s national price benchmarking tool, Spend Comparison Service (SCS), will highlight where a trust may be paying a cheaper local price. We would ask you to please notify NHSE/I and your Customer Relationship Manager of these instances in order that the situation can be addressed.

16. What support will be available to trusts during the implementation/conversion period to minimise the impact on current resources?

Support will be available from your Customer Relationship Manager, and the successful suppliers can provide you with product training and information if required.

Information is also available via our Clinical Nurse Advisors.

See our Useful Links section for more information.

17. Where can I get more detailed information?

Please visit www.supplychain.nhs.uk/ncp for the latest information about NCP.

You can also contact your Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Services Advisor.

See our Useful Links section for more information.