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LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) Soft Market Test - T15/12/01.

Prior information notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust
1 Brest Road
Contact point(s): Procurement Office
For the attention of: Richard Price
PL6 5YE Plymouth
Telephone: +44 1752432913

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority
Body governed by public law
I.3)Main activity
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities
The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: no

Section II.B: Object of the contract (Supplies or services)

II.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) Soft Market Test - T15/12/01.
II.2)Type of contract and place of delivery or of performance

NUTS code UKK41

II.3)Information on framework agreement
The notice involves the establishment of a framework agreement: no
II.4)Short description of nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHNT) wishes to engage with interested suppliers and undertake a soft market test exercise (‘soft market test’) relating to a replacement LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System). The objective of this process is to understand what opportunities exist that improve service delivery, and/or reduce operating costs and what sourcing arrangements would offer best value for money and, if so, how to proceed in the most effective way.
The required services within the scope of the soft market testing will be the provision and maintenance support of software licenses and professional services to design, configure and supplier implementation of a LIMS solution. We are also interested in understanding options for capital / revenue funding partnerships and how these could work.
This PIN Notice describes the Soft Market Test process; which will be carried out by the completion of a Soft Market Testing Questionnaire for assessment by PHNT. To understand market capability further PHNT may choose to meet with a small sample of suppliers by inviting them to 1:1 interviews in Plymouth during the early part of 2016. Where confidential information is discussed / provided by suppliers PHNT would be happy to sign a confidentiality agreement.
The Soft Market Test shall:
- enable PHNT to gather information regarding potential improvement and investment opportunities;
- enable PHNT to gather information about the supply market for a replacement LIMS;
- assist in determining the best approach to the preparation for any improvements and/or sourcing arrangements, including understanding any key concerns;
- assist PHNT with any outline business case for approval by PHNT board and the TDA (Trust Development Authority).
Interested parties in some or all of the scope described in this PIN notice should register via Tactica ( to express an interest in this project and download a Soft Market Testing Questionnaire for completion and return back to PHNT by 21.12.2015 at 16:00 via email to
PHNT's LIMS (iLab) is currently provided by CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation). PHNT would like to understand how a new LIMS system could assist in improvements to its Pathology Services that aligns and operates under the current corporate technology strategy, ensuring PHNT's future needs are met.
Current Service.
The Service Line carries out over 7 000 000 tests per annum in 3 separate Departments detailed below:
Pathology is located across four floors of Derriford Hospital with the following departments:
- Cellular and Anatomical Pathology;
- Microbiology (including serology);
- Combined Laboratory (Blood Sciences).
- Blood Bank 70 000 tests/annum;
- Blood sciences 3 000 000 order codes/annum;
- Cytology (Non-Gynae) 2 000 samples/annum;
- Histology 34 000 samples/annum;
- Microbiology 500 000 samples/annum;
- Mortuary 1 100 post mortems/annum.
Departments detailed below:
Cellular and Anatomical Pathology (Histopathology):
- Histopathology involves the microscopic examination of tissues or cells in order to study the manifestations of disease. This involves the examination of a biopsy or surgical specimen;
- The Department provides mainly secondary and tertiary care services. Tertiary care services include Peninsula-wide Upper GI cancer, Hepatopancreaticobiliary, Sarcoma and Cardiothoracic services;
- Histopathology supports both cancer and non-cancer pathways with challenging timescales i.e. achieving the 2 week, 32 day, 62 day and 18 week targets.
- The department also supports:
• Autopsy work with responsibility for the mortuary;
• Non-gynaecological cytology;
• Neuropathology.
Blood Sciences.
Blood Sciences includes the following disciplines:
- Clinical Chemistry - The study of blood and other biological materials to help the diagnosis of diseases, for example diabetes. Testing includes kidney and liver functions and the monitoring of therapies;
- Transfusion Science - Blood group testing to ensure the correct blood is matched to the patient due to receive donation and the provision of blood and blood products in case of emergency such as road traffic accidents, operations and cancer treatments;
- Haematology - The study of blood formation, composition, functions and diseases. Some of the diseases diagnosed in haematology are leukaemia, malaria, anaemia and bleeding disorders;
- Immunology - The study of the body's immune system and its role in infectious diseases, parasitic infestations, allergies, tumour growth, tissue grafts and organ transplants. Their work is particularly important in the monitoring and treatment of AIDS;
- Molecular Biology - Is the study of the molecular basis of pathology and overlaps traditional disciplines. In Blood Sciences molecular testing provides viral information for the diagnosis and treatment of leukaemia and lymphoma;
- POCT - Supporting patient testing at the bedside and in the community.
Microbiology includes the following disciplines:
- Bacteriology - The study micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and parasites which cause disease. This includes the identification of these organisms and establishes the antibiotic treatment required to kill them therefore stopping the disease. Diseases diagnosed include meningitis, tuberculosis and food poisoning;
- Virology - Virology is the study of viruses and the disease caused by them such as Influenza, HIV and hepatitis. This involves testing for the presence of viruses and monitoring of treatments. Rapid diagnosis of bacteria and viruses is increasingly being provided by molecular technology;
- The Department provides a 24/7 diagnostic and clinical advice service to PHNT doctors and nurses, and GPs within the catchment area;
- It includes timely diagnostic and clinical advice to general and specialist units and teams, antibiotic stewardship, Infection Control leads, mandatory surveillance, and support for the Devon and Cornwall Health Protection Units;
- Diagnostic services supporting Antenatal Screening and Chlamydia Screening are also provided;
- Research, Development and Innovation is a high priority, with numerous peer-reviewed publications from the Laboratory over the last 5 years;
- There are plans to centralise Pathology Molecular testing into a new laboratory within the department. Recent new developments include MaldiTOF (for rapid identification of pathogens) and Liquid TB culture to reduce turnaround times and meet NICE recommendations.
Alignment of Trust and Pathology Vision ‘At the Heart of Health in the Peninsula’.
In May 2013, the Trust published its vision and strategy in a document titled ‘At the Heart of Health in the Peninsula’.
The Trust vision is to be led by patients' needs and become 1 of the country's leading specialist centres delivering excellent care, teaching, training and research. This aligns with the Plymouth Pathology vision in the 10-year plan ‘to provide the best quality service possible for our patients and clinicians in Plymouth and the Peninsula’. Specifically it aligns with:
- The Trust will constantly improve our services, guided by what our patients tell us, responding quickly to problems and fixing underlying causes;
- Collaborating with partners in the region, The Trust will lead in responding to the changing health and well-being needs of patients, recognised by Commissioners for innovation in new services and models of care;
- Highly engaged, clinically led teams at all levels will be focused on our core purpose of caring better for our patients;
- The Trust will work in collaboration with partners to continually identify, develop and provide the emerging and specialist services which our population requires;
- Through strong relationships with Plymouth University and the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network, the Trust will be recognised as an academic hub and a leading centre for innovation and research with an international reputation.
The future vision for Plymouth Pathology Services is to:
- Deliver the most modern Pathology service in the UK;
- Create a centre of excellence with marketing and business expertise to develop income streams;
- Collaborate with partners to optimise patient pathways and provide savings for the wider healthcare community;
- Work more closely with the University and R&D; to provide an integrated local scientific hub;
- Relocate to a new bespoke laboratory facility;
- Operate as a commercial business with agility to react to user needs.


This contract is divided into lots: yes
II.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

48814000, 48180000, 48610000, 48814400, 48000000, 72500000, 72600000, 71900000, 48810000

II.6)Scheduled date for start of award procedures
II.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes
II.8)Additional information:
PHNT will consider whether further clarification or further soft market testing will be carried out to develop the views of the market more specifically. Failure to be invited for such clarification, or to participate in such further soft market testing, will not affect any potential suppliers‘ ability to participate in any future procurement activity. PHNT is under no obligation to follow up this Soft Market Test in any way or with any interested parties.
PHNT wishes to provide fixed points of contact for this Soft Market Test as set out in this PIN notice and interested parties are requested not to contact any other individual or team at PHNT or any of its advisors other than in this PIN notice the contact name stated.
PHNT is committed to ensuring fairness, openness and transparency, and to follow EU procurement regulations. This PIN notice is issued solely for the purpose of conducting a soft market testing exercise and does not constitute any commitment by PHNT to undertake any public procurement exercise in the future. Interested parties will not be prejudiced by any response, or failure to respond, to the Soft Market Test and a response to this PIN notice does not guarantee any invitation to participate in any future public procurement process that PHNT may conduct.
This PIN notice does not constitute a call for competition to procure any services for PHNT. PHNT is not liable for any costs, fees or expenses incurred by any party participating in this Soft Market Testing exercise. Any procurement of any services by PHNT will be carried out strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Information about lots

Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority: Lot No: 1 Lot title: LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) Soft Market Test
1)Short description:
See main description.
2)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

48814400, 48180000, 48610000, 48814000, 48000000, 72500000, 72600000, 71900000, 48810000

5)Additional information about lots:

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Information about reserved contracts

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about European Union funds
The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.2)Additional information:
VI.3)Information on general regulatory framework
VI.4)Date of dispatch of this notice: