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DH launches private sector 'dating site'

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government has launched a new online advertising website that will attempt to ‘hook up' NHS providers with healthcare suppliers.

NHS Supply2Health, described as ‘a ‘match.com' for the NHS', will allow PCT commissioners to advertise health and social care services they require and for suppliers to seek out business opportunities within the NHS.

All NHS commissioners will be required to post information about tendering opportunities and contract awards on the site from Wednesday 1 October 2008.

The Department of Health claimed the site would make it easier for suppliers to track down single opportunities and understand exactly what PCTs want.

The site will also enable commissioners to meet legal requirements to advertise and potentially increase the number of suppliers responding to their adverts by reaching a wider audience.

Subscribers will also receive email alerts where new opportunities are posted that match the services they provide.

Launching the site at the Laing and Buisson Independent Healthcare Convention, health minister Ben Bradshaw said:

‘We are committed to make it easier to do business with the NHS. And in complex healthcare market we realise it's not easy to find the perfect match.

‘Talking to providers of all types, what was keeping people awake at night was the thought they may have missed an opportunity. That there was a PCT out there in need of exactly what they had to offer, but they simply didn't know about each other.

‘With no one place for PCTs to advertise, contract or tendering ads can appear in all number of places, and can be easily missed. The new online service NHS Supply2Health will ensure well matched suppliers and contractors can hook up.'

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