News story

Invitation to Tender: the piloting of supervised injectable Opioid Treatment

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The DH is looking to contract with Service Providers to develop a cost-effective model of delivering a high intensity treatment intervention…

The DH is looking to contract with Service Providers to develop a cost-effective model of delivering a high intensity treatment intervention to a thinly spread population, with a view to demonstrating how IOT can be appropriately commissioned in the future. The nature of the service to be delivered requires hours of opening which enable twice daily supervised injecting, 7 days per week.

The proposed programme will explore how to maximise the cost-effectiveness of IOT to secure future commissioning arrangements:

  1. We intend to award between two and six contracts, on the basis of tenders received, each lasting until 31 March 2015.
  2. The successful service provider will be expected to
  •  Set up IOT
  • Maximise its cost-effectiveness
  • Negotiate with commissioners to ensure IOT’s place in care pathways.

Successful providers will be expected to demonstrate their capacity to develop suitable arrangements to provide their patients with supervised injectable diamorphine (or injectable methadone if appropriate in certain cases); and monitor and report their progress across suitable domains of improvement.

The deadline for receipt of tenders is Friday 30 March 2012 at 12:00pm. Bidders have 4 weeks to complete their responses and submit it to the DH.

  •   This contract will last for a period of 32 months . (1 August 2012 - 31 March 2015)
  •   have an estimated value of £5,500,000 (approximately £1.5m in 12/13 and £2m, per annum in the subsequent contract years)
  • A Part B Procurement will be undertaken.
  • the number of envisaged suppliers is between 2 and 6

The timescales are outlined below:

  • ITT issued: Thursday 1 March 2012.
  • evaluation period commences Friday 30 March 2012.
  • moderation meeting - 17 April 2012 (For down selection)
  • notification to present to the DH - week commencing 19 April 2012.
  • presentations - Week commencing 23 April 2012. (23 and 24 April).
  • notification to unsuccessful and successful bidders and publication of a contract award notice - 27 April 2012 (Alcatel period - 10days) Signing of contract documents - Friday 11 May 2012.
  • contract commencement date: 1 August 2012.


Supervised Injectable Opioid Treatment (IOT) is the prescription of injectable diamorphine (pharmaceutical heroin) in a supervised setting for the treatment of opiate misusers who have not responded to other types of treatment.

Funded by the Department of Health (DH) and supported by the National Treatment Agency (NTA), the Randomised Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT) in England established a small number of new supervised injecting clinics, following the recommendations of the 2002 UK Drug Strategy. Results published in the Lancet (Strang et al, 2010) showed that treatment with supervised injectable diamorphine leads to significantly lower use of street heroin than does supervised injectable methadone or optimised oral methadone.

As a result of the studies in the UK and overseas, IOT is now evidenced as a clinically effective second line treatment for a small group of people who have repeatedly failed to respond either to standard methadone treatment or to residential rehabilitation. The distinctive feature of this treatment is the complete supervision of all injectable doses, usually twice daily, every day of the year.

Additional Information

The Department of Health reserves the right to discontinue the tendering process and not to award the contract.

Transparency - Potential suppliers should note that, in accordance with the Government’s policies on transparency, DH intends to publish the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document, and the text of any contract awarded in real time, subject to possible redactions at the discretion of DH. The terms of the proposed contract will also permit a public sector contracting authority, awarding a contract under this contract, to publish the text of that contract, subject to possible redactions at the discretion of the contracting authority. Further information on transparency can be found on the Cabinet Office  website

Note: The following link will take you to the guidance documentation for using the Department’s BMS system (e-tendering portal)

Instructions for/Conditions of Participation

This procurement exercise will be conducted on the DH eTendering portal. We call this system BMS (Business Management System).

Candidates wishing to be considered for this contract must register their Expression of Interest and download and complete a ITT through the DH eTendering portal (BMS).

Registration is a simple one-step process;

The supplier must register as a company/organisation; then each employee who may undertake a tendering exercise must then register as an individual. Once this stage is completed, it is then possible to register expression of interest for this tender.

Note: Standard BMS functionality will only acknowledge one recipient per supplier for each individual tender. If you require the tender to be seen by multiple users we suggest using a centralised e-mail address []

Log on instructions are as follows:

Stage 1 - New suppliers

Those who have not previously contracted with DH will first need to ensure that their company details are registered in the system.

Go to the link above

Click on ‘New Supplier’

Complete and send the details in the automated e-mail that appears

Within 3 working days, you will receive an e-mail with your login information; a unique username and password.

Note: Standard BMS functionality requires the registered e-mail address to function as individual’s username

Post Registration

Once registered, candidates must express interest as follows

Go to the link above

Select ‘Login into e-Tendering System

Select sourcing home page and enter Invitation to Tender (ITT) number 58407 in search field provided.

Select radio button and click on quick link to express interest, review documentation and upload your response.

You must then publish your reply using the publish button.

For any support in submitting your ITT, please contact the eTendering Help-desk at 0113 254 5777.

This helpdesk is available 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays.

Please Note: Registration on the DH secure portal is not entering onto a preferred supplier list. Registration is solely to be able to interact with the Department electronically.

The services required are Part B services and the procurement will be conducted accordingly.

This is a niche requirement and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to work collaboratively or as sub contractors.