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Tendering in England and Wales

This advice guides you through the commissioning and tendering process of NHS dental services in England and Wales.

The responsibility for commissioning local NHS dental services in England and Wales rests with primary care organisations (PCOs): local area teams in England and health boards in Wales. PCOs have powers to contract for the provision of dental services according to the needs of their local populations (and within the limits of their budget). When commissioning services, PCOs advertise an invitation for prospective bidders to express an interest for the available activity.

The process can take many months and the workload can be arduous. Weeks of frantic activity alternate with weeks of waiting to hear the outcome of each stage, and you have no guarantee of success. You will need to convince the commissioning team that you can be business-focused and deliver high-quality services.