Purpose: To define the methods used to ensure that all contracts with customers (Service users such as nurses, doctors, operating department practitioners, etc.) are fully understood, all changes to contracts are documented and to ensure that reviews take place at appropriate intervals.
Scope: This procedure shall apply to all contracts and work carried out on behalf of the client whether, written, verbal or implied.
Contract: A formal agreement by the EBME Manager to carry out the terms of a written agreement, or by the EBME Manager to carry out a verbal request to carry out repairs, examinations, maintenance etc; where no formal written contract has been established. Where verbal, it will always be acknowledged and recorded on a suitable database.
Responsibilities: Formal tendering is normally the responsibility of a Department outside the scope of this procedure. When the procurement department tenders for work on behalf of the EBME Department, the EBME Manager will provide input appropriate to the resources and manpower available. It is the responsibility of the EBME Manager to conduct Contract Reviews. It is the responsibility of the Quality Assurance Manager to ensure that this customer focus procedure is carried out.
Quality Procedure: The EBME Department has contracts with all customers. (Either written, verbal or understood) Where no formal agreement exists indicating exactly what work is to be carried out verbal contracts may be agreed between the customer and the EBME Manager. Where formal contracts exist, whether with the Hospital staff or with external customers, Contract Reviews will be carried out as described below.
Pre-Contract Review: Whether carried out by another department or carried out by the EBME Manager, whenever a contract is agreed, either within the Trust or externally, details of the contract awarded will be reviewed initially against the pre-contract details to ensure that:
The customer's requirements are clearly stated and documented and any specifications/additional requirements are available for reference purposes.
Any customer requirements that differ from those agreed at the initial enquiry and/or quotation stage are resolved. This usually involves contact with the customer in order to obtain agreement upon the variation to requirements. Any change to the value of resources required, e.g. materials, labour or test facilities, are agreed, wherever possible, before accepting the contract or commencing work.
The EBME Department is capable of meeting contractual requirements. Where this is impractical, the customer will be informed.
The work content involved in meeting customer requirements is checked against the availability of physical resources, e.g. material/components, labour, equipment and workload. Agreements made are usually dependent upon existing workload. These will be recorded by the EBME Manager and filed as part of the Quality records.
Any amendments found to be necessary during the contract review procedure are agreed with the customer. Quotations are not always provided. Where no quotation is given, the EBME Manager assesses what work is required and gives consideration to manpower availability, resources involved and quality requirements.
Award of Contract: If a contract is awarded, an approved representative of both the Department and the Customer will sign this, and a formal letter of acceptance will be issued. The Senior Manager will hold a copy of the final contract. It is the responsibility of the EBME Manager to ensure that all 'formalities' of final contracts are communicated to appropriate personnel and are adhered to.
Post Contract Review: A Post contract review, in the form of regular meetings, is normally undertaken by the EBME Manager.
All Post Contract Reviews will address:
- A review of any complaints
- Review of service
- Any amendments/variations to contract which the customer requires
- Any improvements planned
- Any other issues which either the customer or the Department raise
- Post Contract Review meetings will be documented
Customer Focus: The EBME Manager will maintain regular communication with the customer.
Not only is this an important marketing tool, but it also ensures that the customer is aware of our commitment to customer service.
Communication will be either in the form of a visit or in the form of brochures, letters or e-mail.
Customer feedback is an important part of the EBME Department's objectives. Customer complaints and ways of improving the service are constantly reviewed. Letters, brochures and minutes of meetings are held on customers or departments within the Hospital in individual files. The emphasis of carrying out customer focus exercises will be to ensure that the elements of continual improvement are in the customer's interest.