Quality and legal aspects in public care procurement
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the applicability of care quality concepts as contract award criteria for public procurement of health and social care, using the case of Sweden. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a literature review, European and Swedish legal texts, government regulations as well as 26 Swedish court review cases concerning care procurement have been analysed. Findings – Methods used for assessing care quality are seldom useful for predicting the quality to be delivered by a potential contractor. Legal principles of transparency and equal treatment of tenderers make it necessary to apply strict requirements for verification. Research limitations/implications – Results refer primarily to a Swedish context but could be applicable throughout the EU. Further studies of relations between award criteria and public/private collaborative practices for improving care quality during contractual periods are desirable. Practical implications – Local and regional procurement officials should benefit from a better understanding of how quality criteria should be designed and applied to the award procedures for care contracts. Care providers in the private sector would also be able to develop their quality strategies and present their abilities more efficiently when tendering for public contracts. Social implications – Issues of quality of health and social care are of obvious importance for social sustainability. Public awareness of care quality problems is evident and often a cause of media concern. Originality/value – This investigation pinpoints the difference between traditional care quality thinking and the legal principles underlying contract award in public procurement of care services.

Performance appraisal

Government policy



Health care


Jan Bröchner

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Service Management and Logistics

Carolina Camén

Karlstads universitet

Henrik Eriksson

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Service Management and Logistics

Rickard Garvare

Luleå tekniska universitet

TQM Journal

1754-2731 (ISSN)

Vol. 28 4 648-663


Hållbar utveckling



Juridik och samhälle


Livsvetenskaper och teknik (2010-2018)



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