Medical device companies and manufacturers in the United Kingdom can leverage new market share opportunities provided by the government in the form of medical device tenders and contracts. The NHS is one of the most prominent, and largest buyers of medical devices and equipment in the UK, spending more than £10 billion a year on medtech equipment. 

The money allocated by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is used to fund a variety of medical and health-related devices, including syringes, wheelchairs, pacemakers, X-ray machines and many others. 

Demand for more advanced, and newer medical devices will continue to grow over the coming years. Earlier in 2023, the first-ever medical technology or medtech strategy was released, as the government, in partnership with the DHSC, NHS and local councils sought to improve and update medical machines in an attempt to provide patients with access to quality primary healthcare services. 

What are the new regulatory requirements?

There have been ongoing changes made to the procurement process of medical equipment and devices over the last several years, partially due to new regulations coming into place, and the government’s process of buying new devices from top medical device companies in the post-Brexit economy.

Integrated Care Systems 

For starters, a new commissioning authority – Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) – now oversees basic primary healthcare providers and services, including Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) since the start of 2022. 

In the near future, the ICS will also oversee dental and orthodontic services, including personal dental care services. This forms part of the NHS’s plan to create a more unified public healthcare network across the UK. 

Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency 

Secondly, the exit from the European Union meant that new directives, in terms of how medical equipment and devices are manufactured, advertised and distributed across the country have been put in place. 

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is one of the primary buyers of medical-related goods and services, has created new guidelines that have helped shape a more robust tendering and procurement process for medical devices and equipment. 

As of July 1, 2023, under new guidance from the MHRA, companies and registered agents will be required to display the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark and certificates on their goods and products to sell devices in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Medical products and goods with European Economic Area marks and certificates – CE marks – will no longer be recognized, as of June 30, 2023, however, companies and manufacturers will need to be registered with the MHRA to ensure they comply with new regulations. 

On top of this, suppliers will need to keep in mind that new UKCA marks will not be recognised in the European Union, European Economic Area or Northern Ireland. Different guidelines and regulations regarding this have been published by the MHRA. 

How to sell medical devices to the government and councils

While there have been a lot of new changes, suppliers and manufacturers of medical devices and equipment can still distribute best-selling medical devices to public buyers. Most of the procurement remains available to public suppliers and follows the guidelines of Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Creating a sales strategy is key to selling medical devices, and winning public contracts and tenders. Having a strategy will allow you to fully understand the procurement process within the medical devices industry, but ensure that you comply with new regulations and guidelines, depending on your location. 

Finding tenders 

One of the first steps is to locate public medical device and equipment contracts. Using the Healthcare Contracts International Opportunity Search Portal will allow you to search relevant keywords, budgets and locations. The portal provides you access to a wide range of tender opportunities that are best suited for any medical device company.

Dynamic Purchasing Systems and  Public Sector Frameworks

Having a place in the public sector framework will help increase new business opportunities, as this will enable you to build relationships with public buyers. The main difference between the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) and frameworks, is that suppliers have the option to join or leave the DPS at any given time. 

Create Tender Alerts

Registering for HCI tender alerts will give you real-time updates on when new contract opportunities or notices have been published. With the HCI Tender Alert system, you can be assured that you will receive up-to-date notifications of any new business opportunities that are made available. 

Leverage market data 

One of the best ways to improve your chance of winning a public contract is to keep track of market trends. With the necessary data, that has been collected from thousands of sources, and analysed by HCI’s analysts, you will gain access to spend analysis across the UK. What’s more, with access to competitor tender information, you can adjust your bid to align with medical equipment buyers across the country, and within your local county. 

Business to government marketing 

Having top-selling medical devices requires adequate business to government marketing. With the help of a robust marketing toolkit, you will be able to craft together a winning marketing strategy that helps you identify key market trends, and create more engagement with healthcare buyers across the public sector. 

Why sell medical devices to local government?

Opening yourself to new opportunities allows you to actively scale your business, and ensure that you can create lasting relationships with public sector and healthcare buyers in the United Kingdom. 

As part of the process, you will learn valuable information, and gain access to new tools that will enable you to better understand the procurement process, and how to establish winning bids. 

Using an opportunity search portal, trending data and analysis, and properly marketing top-selling medical devices to the public sector and medical buyers, you will automatically open yourself to a wide variety of new lucrative business opportunities.