Down the Procurement Pub with the NHS, Apple Watch, Welsh Procurement Week and Run River North

We spent a few days in Germany last weekend but I failed to get any photos of beer, surprisingly. However, here is a scene from the BravoSolution Real World Souring event this week, with a certain amount of wine in view. I should emphasise that these are terribly serious events of course, but the new venue, The Jugged Hare in the City of London did provide a very acceptable lunch too ...


Despite the mood in the health service apparently swinging away from competition to more of a planned economy again, there are a number of issues bubbling away, which also cut across local government. The Local Government Chronicle reported this week that Solent NHS Trust is set to sue Hampshire County Council who have awarded a £41.3m contract for adult substance misuse services to another provider, Inclusion Drug Services, which is part of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. Solent claim that the evaluation process was unfair, although there is little clarity exactly how that might be. But the contract award will not be overturned, so the best Solent can hope for is damages rather than winning the contract. This does mean one public sector body is suing another public sector body because they awarded a contract to a third public sector body - but that is the consequence of the system design really. We’ll watch with interest to see how this one unfolds.


The new Apple Watch was launched this week. Will IT buyers be faced with hordes of internal stakeholders demanding that the organisation buys them a “company watch”? -- needed to complement their company iPhones and iPads of course. Or will this be another layer of complexity in the “bring your own technology” movement that has developed over recent years? I guess we will have to get used to people staring at their wrists as they wander around the place, rather than staring at a little black box in their hands.


Next week Nancy Clinton and I will be covering the Welsh Procurement Week in Cardiff. run by the Institute of Competition and Procurement Studies from Bangor University. It is now a huge event for public procurement practitioners, academics and anyone interested in the topic really. We had a fairly detailed look at the programme on our Public Spend Matters Europe site yesterday so you can read more here. Look forward to meeting some of you there – the conference programme is free of charge too!


Just discovered this bunch – Run River North, a band whose US-born members are of Korean ethnicity although you wouldn’t know it from their indie folk rock sound (Of Monsters and Men come to mind, with male / female vocals, violins and a similar vibe). I really like what I’ve heard, we may have to track down their debut album from last year, which I don’t think got released in the UK.


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