meeting. The Secretary stated that he had been in preliminary discussions
with this organisation.
Draft Advertisement for Health Provider Contract
a) The Secretary stated that the activities leading up to placing the Health
Provider Contract now formed the critical path for the screening programme.
This advertisement needed to be placed as soon as possible to ensure that no
further delay occurred in the programme. [There had been no point in
advertising this previously as Invitations To Tender for the Health Provider
Contract would be issued in parallel to the main testing contract once it was
established that a suitable test was available].
b) Minor alterations to the advertisement were agreed.
Post meeting note: The revised advert was circulated by email following this
meeting and a few minor comments received. The final version was sent to MOD
Contracts Branch on 14/3/03.
Main Testing Contract
a) The Chairman sought to clarify a number of issues with regard to the main
Number of Laboratories for Main testing Contract
b) It was agreed that, if possible, 3 laboratories should be involved in the main
testing programme as this provided scope for interlaboratory comparison and
also provided back-up if one of the laboratories dropped out.
c) Ivor Connolly asked why the main testing contract had been advertised to
laboratories other than those taking part in the current pilot exercise as this
seemed to be delaying the programme. The Chairman explained that, because
of the uncertainty over the existence of a suitable test, the initial requirement
had been advertised for a pilot study to examine a number of techniques.
There would have been no point placing a contract for the main testing
programme at that stage. Because of the value of the main testing contract,
European Union rules required that the main testing contract be advertised in
the Official Journal of the European Community. This had elicited 7
expressions of interest in carrying out the main testing contract. However
many laboratories were asked to tender for the contract, these would all have
a set time to answer the ITT and would be considered at the same time. Hence
there would be no additional delay to the programme from inclusion of
laboratories other than those carrying out the pilot study.
Treatment of Sample
d) It was agreed that the laboratories involved in the main testing programme
would be responsible for organising the measurement of creatinine. It was
also agreed that acidification of urine samples should take place in the
laboratories rather than at the point of collection. No decision was reached on
whether the samples needed to be refrigerated. David Lewis undertook to
advise on these issues.
Post meeting note: The SOR for the Health Provider Contract will specify that the
samples must be delivered to the laboratories within 5 days of sample collection.
Consideration of creatinine measurements, acidification and refrigeration must be
made with this period in mind.