A statement from the TMA says: 'It has been reported to us that NHS Supplies has stated that its current contract with five suppliers and the TMA's with seven will amalgamate and be reduced to eight suppliers. We wish to make it abundantly clear that the TMA Contract will continue until expiry on August 31, 2001. We have no intention of cancelling our contract with our suppliers with which we have an excellent relationship and working understanding. As a result of the reports, the TMA has withdrawn from the consultation group.'
Chris Allen, NHS Supplies acting senior buyer, said he was dismayed by the TMA's decision and that reports of amalgamation were 'nonsense'. 'I don't know how the rumours have started, but we are looking to rebuild the bridges between the two organisations because the two meetings were of great benefit,' he said. NHS Supplies, which provides vehicles to health workers alongside the NHS Transport Managers Association, has begun discussions with its vehicle suppliers in preparation for the re-newal of contracts next year.