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The top ten things to know about the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework

The recently announced Clinical Communications Procurement Framework was fast tracked through an accelerated OJEU process, which was completed in just 14 weeks. It’s designed to support NHS organisations with dedicated clinical facing communication and tasks management tools, to accelerate the adoption of proven technologies and to phase out pagers by the end of 2021.

Here’s the ten things you need to know:

  1. 25 suppliers have been appointed and will be used via direct award or through mini competitions; suppliers were largely appointed on a features/functionality basis rather than cost, as part of an accelerated OJEU process which was completed in just 14 weeks.
  2. Licences are being paid for by NHSX for a period of twelve months (although the framework is open for 24 months).
  3. The funding and framework are secondary care specific – although it can support other care settings.
  4. NHSX is looking for subsequent funding for primary care and other care settings; this is likely to be established by the end of the year or the beginning of next.
  5. NHSX is confident that there is ‘enough to go around’ and has carried out significant market engagement, therefore do not foresee the ‘money running out’.
  6. Trusts should carry out a thorough due diligence process if they decide to work with a supplier that are not on the framework (and the trust would not receive funding).
  7. Funding is available to trusts which already have an existing supplier in place, and if a new contract is for more than two years (i.e. a five-year contract) they would only pay for the first part.
  8. The online framework will enable organisations to enter what they are looking for and will highlight which product/s are best suited. Market engagement events will help with decision making processes.
  9. Money doesn’t go to commissioners or trusts: commissioners will outline what they want, and NHSX will be the vehicle through which the supplier is paid, by a pre-raised PO.
  10. Commissioners have until the end of September to submit their bids.

Didn’t get onto the framework? NHSX say they don’t want to shut-down innovation by locking suppliers who aren’t currently on the framework out of the market, and thus are looking at how they might open it up again.

The first 12-month licence costs will be made via the NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams. The process of allocating funding will be managed through the Regional Directors for Digital Transformation in each area. You can find out more about the regional teams on the NHSEI website. Details of the bid process and the bid template are on the framework section of the NHSX website.