1. Where should offers of support from suppliers be sent?
Welsh Government has appointed Life Sciences Hub Wales to collate all offers of support to health and social care in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Life Sciences Hub Wales has established an innovation portal which sets out detailed requirements for businesses to make a submission. There are specific challenges in place and submissions will only be accepted that align with these.
Businesses can access the portal through the Life Sciences Hub Wales website.
2. What is the role of Life Sciences Hub Wales?
Life Sciences Hub Wales is under-taking a facilitation role. It is not a decision-maker and has no budget or responsibility for the direct purchasing of products.
3. What are the current priority needs?
There are two main categories on the NHS Critical Items List:
- Medical Devices
- Personal Protective Equipment
NHS Wales have been inundated by offers and been able to secure significant supplies of certain PPE products and medical devices.
The levels of need are likely to change as social distancing measures are modified in the near future. In preparation for this, Life Sciences Hub Wales may, in some cases, retain the details of organisations who are able to supply appropriately regulated and certified products and devices for future referral to NHS Wales.
4. What are the checks that are undertaken?
There is guidance which has been issued by Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) and include the following requirements:
- Pre-Certification essential information for manufacturers who wish to engage with NWSSP Procurement & SMTL - COVID-19 derogations and exemptions
- Regulatory Legislation
- Product Classification
- Regulatory compliance documentation
- Relevant standards – test certificates
- Regulation Classification
5. What is SMTL involvement in the process?
The Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) is part of the Welsh NHS, funded mainly by the Welsh Assembly Government, and based at Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. SMTL is part of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP). Their core service is to provide testing and technical services regarding medical devices to the Welsh NHS, enabling procurement services for NHS Wales and others in the NHS to undertake evidence based purchasing.
More information is available on the SMTL website.
6. What happens when I make a submission?
Life Sciences Hub Wales is conducting a facilitation role – supporting health and social care buyers to manage and triage the high volume of supply offers in response to the current health crisis.
Through an online portal, we collate data to verify your organisation and evidence that products are regulated and certified according to British Standards before referral to health and social care buyers for consideration.
We are not a decision-maker and do not have budget or responsibility for the direct purchasing of products.
The online portal will guide you through a series of questions about your organisation and the products on offer. The process takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Providing all the supporting documentation has been received and meets the verification criteria, the supply proposal will be referred to health and social care buyers.
Health and social care buyers will assess the supply proposal in accordance with their own COVID-19 procurement guidelines, engaging directly with you.
If supporting documentation fails to meet the verification criteria, you will be notified by Life Sciences Hub Wales. When correct documentation is available, the submission will be reconsidered.
We and NHS Wales are very grateful for your support.
7. What happens if I can't access the innovation portal?
In rare cases, you will need to request permission from your IT administrator prior to accessing the portal. The following domain names should be provided to your IT administrator so that they can be added to an "allow list": *.simplydo.co.uk, *.amazonaws.com and sdi.click
8. If I am not a supplier but an individual offering support who do I contact?
If you are an individual and think you can help in the fight against COVID-19, we want to hear from you.
Submit your details on our website lshubwales.com and we can help by linking you up with people and businesses who can assist you to make a real difference to lives in Wales and beyond.