New framework to help NHS reduce cost of procuring clinical information systems

NHS SBS announces development of an NHS-wide procurement with a framework value potentially worth £1.25billion

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) is developing a framework for the procurement of healthcare clinical information systems that will save trusts both time and money compared with procuring specialist systems individually.

NHS SBS has issued an OJEU notice to gather supplier responses to the framework, which is being created following close collaboration with the organisation’s provider clients to identify their future requirements.

The agreement, which is due to be operational at the end of this year, has a potential framework value of £1.25billion over a six-year period, and will be open to any NHS trust to access.

This initiative represents how a more-strategic approach to procurement frameworks, based on a thorough examination of what trusts will actually need in the future, can deliver far greater savings and benefits

The framework is divided into six lots covering core healthcare clinical information systems, theatre clinical systems, integrated emergency care clinical systems, child health systems, maternity systems, and specialist electronic prescribing clinical systems.

By utilising the framework each NHS trust will avoid having to go through the full OJEU process, which can take up to 12 months and cost tens of thousands of pounds. Instead the trusts can localise their requirements from the framework and hold mini-competitions, which can be completed in a reduced timeframe and at a much-reduced cost.

NHS SBS director of procurement, Peter Akid, explains: “The agreement is the result of months of collaboration with our clients to identify just what their needs will be for these complex and specialist systems in the future. This, combined with our procurement expertise, has given us the confidence to know we can procure a national framework that nonetheless can still be tailored to meet the local needs of each trust.

“Precisely because these are expensive specialist systems, trusts need to have the confidence that their chosen suppliers will deliver. With this in mind, we will manage the framework, including rigorous supplier testing to ensure complete governance and a compliant route to market.

For suppliers, the framework will provide greater opportunities by opening up the market to them, and they will ultimately benefit by not incurring the expenditure that would potentially be involved with submitting individual tenders

“For suppliers, the framework will provide greater opportunities by opening up the market to them, and they will ultimately benefit by not incurring the expenditure that would potentially be involved with submitting individual tenders.

“This initiative represents how a more-strategic approach to procurement frameworks, based on a thorough examination of what trusts will actually need in the future, can deliver far greater savings and benefits.”

Suppliers have until the 23 September to respond.

Companies