Co-operation and competition panel director Andrew Taylor has revealed some of the basic mistakes primary care trusts have made when tendering out services.

In an NHS Confederation conference seminar on market management, Mr Taylor outlined cases such as a PCT that appointed one of the bidders in a particular tender process to the evaluation panel for the same tender.

Another bidder who protested that this was not fair had to write two letters before the PCT changed its approach. As a result, the PCT is now having to restart the tender from scratch.

In a different case, a bidder rang a PCT on the final day of a tender process to be told that as they were the only bidder for the service, the PCT would have to find another one. The PCT entered this second bidder into the process after the closing date had already passed.

Mr Taylor said: “There are very basic things that anyone should be able to get right in any kind of procurement process. If you avoid these easy mistakes, you may be a significant way down the path [towards successful market management].”

He urged PCTs to go to the panel for information and advice in order to avoid pitfalls during the tendering process.

Visit for more news