Procurement of Child Health Information Services for NHSE East of England, Greater Manchester and Midlands (East and West)

Home 5 Case Studies 5 Procurement of Child Health Information Services for NHSE East of England, Greater Manchester and Midlands (East and West)

The challenge

The purpose of Child Health Information Services (CHIS) and the systems that support them is to ensure that each child in England has an accurate active record supporting delivery of public health interventions including screening and childhood and adolescent immunisations. The CHIS enables the health protection, promotion and failsafe activities for clinical delivery to be carried out in a timely way. 

The NECS Healthcare Services Procurement team undertook a collaborative procurement exercise to deliver across three regions with a goal of organising four contracts: East of England, Greater Manchester and Midlands (East and West).

The individual regions had various CHIS contracts with a number of providers across 27 sub-regions, with indicative activity numbers showing a total service population of 4,807,191 children between the ages of 0-19.

The ultimate goal was to secure a consistent and equitable approach to the provision and monitoring of CHIS to ensure a high standard of service for all regional stakeholders regardless of sub-locality.

A collaborative, cross regional approach to this procurement allowed for a large number of qualitative and quantitative benefits to be achieved including the sharing of knowledge, subject matter expertise and procurement support. Additionally, the cross regional approach saved time and resources, resulting in Value for Money for the NHS.

    Our response

    Three procurement officers were identified to lead. While each procurement lead oversaw the drafting of subsequent reports for individual regions, there was no separation of service lines or communications to ensure regional commissioning leads had consistency in their support. A project group was initiated in early January 2022.

    With the variety and number of contracts in place, each region was keen to find a solution that would offer continuity of service across all localities and offer a streamlined approach to contract and supplier management. Each region also recognised the potential efficiencies that could be realised by working together on a cross regional procurement that had the added benefit of creating efficiencies for the responding market.

    In line with the NHS Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition (No. 2) Regulations 2013, the procurement processes sought to achieve the following objectives:

    Regulation 2 (a): securing the needs of the people who use the services;

    Regulation 2 (b): improving the quality of the services; and

    Regulation 2 (c): improving efficiency in the provision of the services.

    Once all elements of the tender were finalised, led by procurement officers following standard procedures and best practices, the NECS Procurement team provided guidance, advice and support throughout the tender process which included: point of contact for bidders, development of tender documentation, management of e-tendering system and the evaluation process, production of procurement and evaluation strategies and recommended bidder reports and ultimately feedback to bidders.

    In addition, the NHS successfully defended a legal challenge in court with support from NECS procurement team,  as a result of a robust procurement process and detailed documentation.

    The project benefited from a project team that was unified in their approach and willing to work together, innovate and take on board new ways of working to gain efficiencies for the NHS and, ultimately, realise savings of public funds.

    High court building


    The procurement processes achieved quality and social value outcomes, as well as financial savings of £12.3 million against the advertised contract values across two of the participating regions.  

    • Through the delivery of the services procured, children and their families receive NHS standard services that are commissioned to the latest good practice, standards and guidance
    • A comprehensive local record of a child’s health status as measured against the requirements of the public health programmes.

    The Category Management approach taken to manage the procurement process resulted in the following outcomes:


    • Competition in the market which drove up quality and allowed for cash savings
    • Valuable feedback from the market to support the final design of the service models and procurement process
    • Delivery of social value benefits
    • Excellent joint working and sharing of resources across NHSE and NECS
    • Delivery of a successful compliant procurement process in accordance with all relevant regulations and policies supported by robust processes
    • Sharing of knowledge and an understanding of work requirements and timescales being rolled out across other regions that had the potential to conflict with individual region needs.

    “Many thanks for all your patience, time and hard work on this, it’s been very much appreciated on what (for me at least) has been the longest, drawn out procurement ever. Despite being the most challenging procurements I have ever worked on, the team approached all aspects of the work and additional questions with professionalism, good humour and promptness.”

    NHSE East of England customer