The Department of Health has just published the new versions of the standard NHS terms and conditions for the supply of goods and for the provision of services.

The terms and conditions were developed by the Department in partnership with Mills & Reeve and are now the main contracting documents for NHS bodies to use when buying goods and services. They have received positive feedback from both the Association of British Healthcare Industries (a key trade body for NHS suppliers) and the Health Care Supply Association (the representative and network organisation for all staff involved in NHS procurement). The significance of this work is evidenced by the fact that the NHS spends over £20 billion a year on goods and services, which typically counts for around thirty percent of the operating costs of each hospital trust and these new terms and conditions have been described by the Department as “the first step in the NHS acting as a single customer”.