NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) is planning to set up an NHS-wide framework for clinical information systems worth up to £1.25 billion.
The framework is due to be operational at the end of 2014. It will run for six years and will be split into six lots.
The lots cover core healthcare clinical information systems, theatre clinical systems and systems for integrated emergency care, maternity, child health and electronic prescribing.
Any NHS Trust will be able to use the framework to buy systems. According to NHS SBS this will save trusts time and money compared to going through a formal procurement process individually, which can take up to 12 months and cost tens of thousands of pounds.
NHS SBS procurement director Peter Akid explained that the framework has been developed by working with trusts to identify their future requirements.
He said: “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.”
Akid said that NHS SBS will conduct ‘rigorous’ testing of suppliers who apply to ensure that they are able to deliver the expensive specialist systems required.
He added: “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.”
NHS SBS has published a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) calling for suppliers’ responses to the existing set up of the framework.
Suppliers have until 23 September 2014 to register their interest in the procurement.