NHS Scotland gets go-ahead to award £110m SWAN contract

BT, which is suing NHS Scotland after losing in its bid for a £110 million Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) framework, has failed in an initial attempt to stop the contract being awarded to the preferred bidder.

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BT, which is suing NHS Scotland after losing in its bid for a £110 million Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) framework, has failed in an initial attempt to stop the contract being awarded to the preferred bidder.

The telecoms giant is taking NHS Scotland to court over what it claims has been a “flawed” tender process for a six-year contract that would have enabled councils and NHS bodies in Scotland to share information more easily.

However, the court has found in favour of the procurement body NHS National Services Scotland, which went to court on 24 January to stop BT’s legal action. NSS was not able to award the contract to the preferred bidder - understood to be a partnership of Capita and Updata - until the case was resolved.

A spokesman for NSS said: “The court has today [7 February] upheld NSS’ request to have the suspension lifted and allow and award of contract to be made.

“BT has requested leave to appeal this decision and the court will consider this at a further hearing on Tuesday 11 February.”

Meanwhile BT, which had welcomed early findings in the court proceedings, said: “As the case has been continued, we have no further comment at this time.”

The telecoms company began the legal action before the preferred bidder was announced. Cable & Wireless with Virgin Media Business were also in the running for the contract.

With its legal action, BT is looking for a rerun of the tender process, or for £20 million in damages. It argued that the tender process did not ensure that the contract was awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous bid, in accordance with regulations.

NSS maintains that the process was “fair, robust and thorough”.

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