15 months after the High Court’s landmark decision, the case of Consultant Connect has been hitting the news again. In July 2022, Consultant Connect Limited (“CC”) successfully challenged the decision of three Clinical Commissioning Groups (now Integrated Care Boards, “ICBs”) to award a multi-million-pound advice and guidance services contract to Cinapsis. 

The case addressed a wide range of important issues in procurement law including the intrinsic link between automatic suspensions and expedited trials (Procurement Case Law Update: the automatic suspension, expedited trials and ‘protective’ proceedings (burges-salmon.com)) and the use of framework agreements in public procurement (Publicly procured contract ‘shortened’ by court for breaches (burges-salmon.com)). 

At the trial, Mr Justice Kerr concluded “without difficulty that the breaches are sufficiently serious to justify an award of damages”. The Health Service Journal is now reporting that recently published accounts show the total sum paid to CC by the 3 ICBs involved to compensate for its loss of chance of winning the contract was c.£1.7m. 

These sums are in addition to the £22,000 of civil financial penalties ordered by the Court to reflect the seriousness of the breaches of procurement law.