Adult Critical Care Transfer Services (ACCTS) in the South East Region
Published date: 25 January 2023
Open opportunity – This means that the contract is currently active, and the buying department is looking for potential suppliers to fulfil the contract.

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Contract summary
• Health services – 85100000
Location of contract
South East
Value of contract
Procurement reference
Published date
25 January 2023
Closing date
14 March 2023
Closing time
Contract start date
1 August 2023
Contract end date
31 July 2028
Contract type
Service contract
Procedure type
Open procedure (above threshold)
Contract is suitable for SMEs?
Contract is suitable for VCSEs?

NHS England South East (The Commissioner) invites bids from providers who have the capability and capacity to host and deliver (either directly or via a subcontractor) the substantive service. The host should be an Acute Trust, or an Acute Trust in partnership with a Non-Acute Trust, currently commissioned/contracted to deliver adult critical care/ICU services. This Trust, or Trust partnership/consortium, will work collaboratively within a governance framework of an Adult Critical Care Transfer Service (ACCTS) Partnership Board to set up and host the ACCTS within the South East Region. 

The ACCTS will be a regionally based critical care transfer service providing consultant led coordination, decision-support and transfer of critically ill patients between hospitals for time critical and non-time critical escalation to specialist care, retrieval, repatriation, and non-clinical transfers for capacity during periods of surge. The ACCTS will provide transfer services for all NHS Acute Trusts within the South East regional geography (i.e. there will be a single contract covering the ICS regions of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, Frimley Health and Care, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Kent and Medway, Surrey Heartlands and Sussex). 

It is primarily focussed on intra region transfers but must be capable of delivering inter regional transfers and repatriations along patient tertiary referral pathways and during periods of surge capacity when the Adult Critical Care (ACC) service is under pressure. The commissioning of the ACCTS will provide a minimum standard of care and equitable access for all adult patients during transfers. 

The service is currently commissioned in an interim arrangement directly with an Ambulance Service Trust in the South East and a London Ambulance provider; this arrangement does not provide cover to the entire region with some areas undertaking alternative arrangements. As is described in the national toolkits, it is anticipated that the substantive service will be hosted and delivered by an Acute Trust or an Acute Trust in partnership with a Non-Acute Trust, with experience of delivering adult critical care services. 

The host will retain contractual and clinical responsibility for the delivery of the ACCTS. The operational and management activity of the ACCTS will be overseen collaboratively within a governance framework of an ACCTS Partnership Board, with representation from the host, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and NHSE (as a minimum) and where strategic collaborative decisions will be made about the set up and design of the service, as well as the long-term strategy and reporting.

Please refer to the ‘Additional Text’ section for further information. 

This procurement is being carried out by NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit (SCW) on behalf of the Commissioners.

More information
Previous notice about this procurement
Hosting of Adult Critical Care Transfer Services (ACCTS) within the South East Regional Footprint.
• Early engagement
• Published 14 September 2021
·         Tender notice
·         Interested providers will be able to view this notice via the ‘Live Opportunities’ list on the e-procurement system, Atamis, available on the following link:
Additional text
The ACCTS will operate as a standalone service, which means that whilst the host will hold the substantive or honorary contracts for clinical staff, staff must not function as part of a Critical Care Unit in terms of staffing, day-to-day function or interdependence. Staff must be independent and not have other clinical responsibilities whilst carrying out transfer shifts. 

The service will initially operate an extended day time service to maximise cover across 14 hours of the day, although commissioners may wish to work with the provider to extend this during the life of the contract, should additional resource be identified. If so, the intention is that this would be undertaken by permitted contract variation following discussion and agreement between the Commissioner and the provider, provision having been made in this procurement for this to take place if required. 

The contracts will be let for an initial term of 5 years, with a possible extension of a further four years, as defined and at the discretion of the Commissioner. 

The contract is due to commence on 1st August 2023, with the aim being that transfer services are fully operational by 1st September 2023. 

The maximum value of the contract will be £4,387,000 per annum, equating to a total maximum contract value of £39,483,000 over the possible nine year period including extension. 

The services are healthcare services falling within Schedule 3 to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (“the Regulations”), which are not subject to the full regime of the Regulations, but are instead governed by the “Light Touch Regime” contained within Chapter 3, Section 7 of the Regulations (Regulations 74 to 77).

The tendering process will be conducted in accordance with the requirements and flexibilities provided by Articles 74 to 76 of the Directive, and Regulations 74 to 76 of the Regulations. The Authority will run a transparent tender process, treating all Bidders equally. For the avoidance of doubt, the Authority will not be bound by the Regulations or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or any other regulations or legislation except for the specific parts or circumstances that apply to the procurement of these Services. 

Neither the inclusion of a Bidder selection stage, nor the use of any language or terms found in the Directive or Regulations, nor the description of the procedure voluntarily adopted by the Authority (“Open”, “Restricted”, “Competitive Procedure with Negotiation”, “Competitive Dialogue” or any other description), nor any other indication, shall be taken to mean that the Authority intends to hold itself bound by the Directive or Regulations, save by the provisions applicable to services coming within the scope of Annex XIV of the Directive/Schedule 3 of the Regulations. 

The Contracting Authority intends to voluntarily observe the award decision notices provisions and 10 day standstill period described in Regulation 86 of the Regulations.

How to apply
Follow the instructions given in the description or the more information section.

About the buyer
Contact name
Tom Griffiths
Premier House, 60 Caversham Road


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