Norsk Luftambulanse’s Deal Agreement with the Danish Regions

Norsk Luftambulanse’s Deal Agreement with the Danish Regions

Horten advised Norsk Luftambulanse AS on its agreement of a new contract with the Danish Regions to provide nationwide Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS).

Norsk Luftambulanse AS is owned by Norsk Luftambulanse, a non-profit foundation that has worked for more than 40 years to provide patients with advanced life-saving treatments. The contract, which has a value of €285 million, will come into effect in the summer of 2025 and runs for 10 years with an option of renewal for up to four years.

Horten advised Norsk Luftambulanse during the bidding process for the current tender and for the previous tender cancelled in January 2022. Partner Annelouise Dalgaard Pedersen and attorney Sidsel Marcussen have assisted Norsk Luftambulanse AS throughout the entire process of the tender.


An Interview with Sidsel Marcussen, Horten:

Please tell us more about Norsk Luftambulanse AS’s new contract and what it entails.

The contract includes the delivery of four helicopters (and a backup helicopter) with medical interior and equipment, pilots and HEMS crew members for the operation of helicopter emergency medical services in Denmark.

The contract also includes an obligation for Norsk Luftambulanse to cooperate with the contracting authority (the five Danish Regions) throughout the contract period to continuously improve the quality of the HEMS. The national Danish HEMS service provides nationwide coverage and is primarily dispatched to patients with acute life-threatening illnesses or traumatic injuries. As the existing supplier, Norsk Luftambulanse has flown medical helicopters in Denmark since the establishment of the national Danish HEMS service in 2014. In 2021, the current four helicopters completed 4,768 missions.

What were the most crucial aspects of the deal, and how did your team use their skills and knowledge to address them?

The tender contained elements of particular importance to the regions, such as the training and education programme for the crew, flight operative development and the design of the medical interior. These elements were given emphasis in the assessment of the tenders and in the awarding of the contract. These are all elements that Norsk Luftambulanse has significant knowledge of and for which they offer highly qualified solutions.

We provided legal advice to Norsk Luftambulanse throughout the entire tender process. An important task for us was to ensure that both the request for prequalification and the final tender from Norsk Luftambulanse fully met all the tender requirements. Furthermore, an important task for us was to assist Norsk Luftambulanse in describing their technical solutions adequately, taking the Regions’ specific requirements into consideration.

The tender was carried out as a tender with negotiation, and together with Norsk Luftambulanse I participated in the negotiation meeting with the Regions. At the negotiation meeting, Norsk Luftambulanse received feedback on specific parts of their initial tender. My primary job was to assist Norsk Luftambulanse in following up on this feedback and having the feedback incorporated into Norsk Luftambulanse’s revised and final tender.

We provided legal advice to Norsk Luftambulanse throughout the entire tender process.

It is my advice that tenderers should pay close attention to the specific wording of the contracting entity’s requirements and make sure to answer them as close to the wording as possible. This makes it easier for the contracting entity to assess to what extent the offered solution meets the requirements. Horten has considerable experience in advising on tenders within the pre-hospital area as well as insight into what is important for this type of contract. This benefits our clients, including Norsk Luftambulanse.

Did you face any significant challenges relating to the bidding process? If so, how did you overcome them?

Norsk Luftambulanse won the contract based on the repeat tender process. The previous tender was cancelled by the Regions as a result of Norsk Luftambulanse’s complaint to the Danish Complaints Board for Public Procurement. We handled the complaint on behalf of Norsk Luftambulanse.

Initially it was a special situation for Norsk Luftambulanse and for us, as their legal adviser, to participate in a new tender procedure immediately after winning a complaint against the regions. But we kept our joined focus on the new tender, and on delivering the best possible tender, hoping that the new tender would turn out in Norsk Luftambulanse’s favour, which fortunately was the case.

Norsk Luftambulanse is very professional and competent in its approach to operating helicopter services and as a business partner, and it has been a great pleasure to assist Norsk Luftambulanse in the tender process as their lawyer.

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