• Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust agrees huge contract with private company
  • Trust says deal will help meet future demand for orthopaedic work
  • Johnson & Johnson to help run new facility

A Shelford Group trust has awarded a £310m contract to an American company as part of a ‘ground breaking partnership’ for orthopaedic work.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust is agreeing a deal with the multinational firm Johnson & Johnson in a bid to treat thousands more patients every year.

A spokesman for the £1.4bn income trust said the partnership will be set up with the aim of meeting future demand from patients, with more people living longer and requiring orthopaedic work.

The trust hopes the partnership will enable it to increase the number of adult elective orthopaedic patients it can treat annually, from around 7,000 to 11,500 a year over the contract’s duration.

An orthopaedic “centre of excellence” will also be created to be an education and training hub where research to improve clinical outcomes can be developed.

There are two main phases of work under the contract.

The first aims to improve efficiency and deliver savings within the procurement of prosthetics, surgical instruments and other consumables for orthopaedic surgery through a “managed service agreement”.

Johnson & Johnson will employ a team to manage the supply chain and work with the trust’s clinical and non-clinical staff.

The second phase will develop eight new operating theatres, which are planned to be in place by the end of 2020.

The design of the new facilities has not yet been agreed but they will form part of the existing buildings at Guy’s Hospital.

Construction, medical equipment management and facilities management services are likely to be subcontracted, according to the contract award notice.

HSJ asked how long the contract is for and whether the trust had to secure extra funding for the scheme but it did not respond.

However, when the trust began exploring future orthopaedic provision in 2013 it published a tender document that said the contract would be for 10 years.

In January, the trust made an application for £100m of capital funding from the Department of Health’s independent trust financing facility, of which £30m was earmarked for “additional theatre capacity” at Guy’s Hospital. The application was approved.

The trust spokesman said the partnership between the trust and Johnson & Johnson would be formalised when the parties sign the contract, which is expected to be “in the near future”.

The deal is separate from the trust’s work with the south east London sustainability and transformation partnership, which aims to develop a clinical network for orthopaedics.

HSJ asked the trust if the arrangement with Johnson & Johnson signalled an intention not to use the new national orthopaedic procurement category tower, which comes into effect in October 2018.

The spokesman said: “The trust will continue to participate in collaborative procurement initiatives, the outcomes of which will be actioned by the managed service provider.

“Our clinical teams retain full control over product choice and the new partnership does not change this.”

The tower will be run by the NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership, which comprises four regional procurement hubs. The London Procurement Partnership is hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’.