Emission reducing Community Equipment Contract awarded to Medequip UK
24 May 2023
Norfolk County Council has launched a contract with Medequip UK to provide Integrated Community Services (ICES) across Norfolk and Waveney, using electric vans, an energy-efficient depot and high rates of equipment re-use to reduce carbon emissions while providing value for the tax payer.
The contract – led by Norfolk County Council as Lead Commissioner, working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board – helps people to get out of hospital or remain in their own homes by providing equipment such as hospital beds and hoists. When the equipment is no longer needed, it is collected and refurbished so it can be used again.
The contract was awarded by Norfolk County Council in line with its new Climate Strategy. The tender required bidders to show how they would reduce their carbon emissions, with extra points being awarded to bidders with the most convincing plans.
Cllr Eric Vardy, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "The weighting of environmental action in our procurements is the next step in reducing Norfolk’s emissions. We are proud to use our contracts to actively secure carbon reduction commitments, in this case ensuring that the provision of essential community equipment aligns with our sustainability objectives.
“With our new Climate Strategy coming into effect, our procurement team will continue to take contractors’ environmental commitments into account when awarding contracts and monitoring delivery, thereby helping us build a greener, more sustainable future while delivering the services our residents need."
Medequip UK has committed to various initiatives, focusing on direct emissions (gas, electricity and fuel consumption) plus indirect emissions in the supply chain.
Specific examples of these commitments include:
- A contractual commitment to increase the reuse of items of community equipment compared to the old contract
- Use of an electric fleet, with both Norfolk depots having EV charging points and an initial 20 electric service delivery vehicles out of a total of 43
- Initiatives within their depots, including energy efficient lighting, strict control of waste, annual site water audits and a plan to explore on-site renewables
The equipment provided via the contract includes items prescribed for individuals to enable those with care needs to continue living in their own homes, equipment providing support with mobility needs and other tasks, extending to specialist equipment for those with complex needs.
Cllr Alison Thomas, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "The Integrated Community Equipment Service plays a vital role in supporting individuals to live independently and with dignity in their own homes. We are confident that Medequip's expertise and dedication will enhance the quality of care and provide essential equipment to those who rely on it, giving them the chance to continue living independently, with all the benefits for health and wellbeing that brings."
With a net value of approximately £10 million per year, the award reflects the commitment of Norfolk County Council and its partners to provide high-quality care and support to individuals across Norfolk and Waveney. The contract aims for 60% equipment reuse and 40% new purchases.
Steven Course, Director of Finance at NHS Norfolk and Waveney and ICS Executive Lead for Net Zero, said “This contract award to help deliver community services with a carbon conscious supplier is a positive step towards meeting the ambitions of Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System’s Green Plan. By reducing carbon emissions and improving the sustainability of health and care operations, we can help to improve health and care for people now, and in the future.”
Medequip UK, the chosen provider, has established itself as a trusted leader in the field of community equipment services. The contract will be delivered from a primary depot located at the Norwich Airport Industrial Estate and a second depot at Downham Market to reduce the milage driven by individual delivery vehicles, making Medequip well-positioned to serve the needs of Norfolk and Waveney effectively. The contract is set to run for a maximum term of 10 years, with contractual review periods determined, the first at five years.
About Medequip UK:Medequip is a specialist logistical business that provides innovative solutions in the Health and Social Care sector. They offer fully integrated services which reflect the complex needs of the sector, designed and coproduced in conjunction with commissioners, professional prescribers, community support organisations, and the families, carers and most importantly, those people who use our services.
Medequip is unique in specialising solely in community equipment. This includes the processes of procurement, storage, delivery, installation, technical demonstration, repair, and maintenance, collection, cleaning, and recycling homecare medical equipment.
Norfolk County Council and Net Zero:Norfolk County Council has committed to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions on its estates by 2030, but within its wider area, to work with partners towards ‘carbon neutrality’. This also supports the government’s ambition for a net zero country by 2050. We will achieve this by implementing carbon conscious ways of working across our buildings and supply chain; putting in place the right infrastructure across the county to support the move towards net-zero; and by working together with partners to lead and inspire our colleagues, citizens, communities and businesses to take action and play their part in protecting Norfolk for future generations.
About Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System’s Green PlanNorfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS)’s Green Plan 2022-2025 demonstrates the health and care system’s commitment to achieving Net Zero.
Health and care partners are working together to meet the targets outlined in the Green Plan, sharing best practice and innovation. Key areas of carbon emissions have been identified, and ICS partners are collectively taking responsibility for planning and delivering programmes that will reduce emissions, improve efficiencies, and support the sustainable delivery of health and care services for people now, and in the future.