Supplier snaps up latest NHS wheelchair tender in bid to become national provider

AJM Healthcare wheelchair

AJM Healthcare is fast becoming one of the market’s major wheelchair services providers after it won yet another tender in its bid to become a prime UK wheelchair services contractor.

The firm, which won major new tenders in October 2017 and January 2018, has secured the contract to run wheelchair services for adults and children in Derbyshire.

AJM’s service will aim to address perceived health inequalities in the county and will be promoted to minority and hard-to-reach groups in the community.

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The tender process saw commissioners carry out a “thorough” investigation of AJM’s services and focused on quality, according to AJM’s CEO, Mark Perress.

AJM is increasingly looking to compete on the national stage with the UK’s main providers and has been implementing its strategy following a management buy-out in September.

Mr Perress told AMP that although the largest national providers can arguably offer cheaper equipment, thanks to their immense buying power, contracts nowadays are ‘more about management style and quality of equipment’.

Operations director, Steve Peck, added that the notion tenders are focusing more heavily on price at the expense of quality is “inaccurate”.

“The quality of the tenders going out now are better than I’ve ever seen and the concept that they are primarily price driven now is incorrect. Some contracts going out now are 90% based on quality,” he said.

With a background in equipment maintenance, AJM has invested heavily in its clinical arm in recent years in an effort to hone its wheelchair services and make itself increasingly competitive in a market dominated by a handful of national providers.

It is also looking to diversify and enter the community equipment sector and other associated markets.

Mr Perress added: “We’re a reasonable size company now. We’re well into double digits and we’ve got the infrastructure to support. Once you get to a certain size you can offer a comparable service level to what a company turning over £80m can deliver.

“What they will clearly have over us is their greater buying power. But when it comes to managing clinical and wider staff needs we can offer and deliver as much as what they can, if not more.”

Tags : ajmajm healthcareNHSnhs wheelchair serviceswheelchair services
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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