NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has successfully supported over 80 NHS organisations in their bid to move away from the centrally provided LSP contract, via the free to access Healthcare Clinical Information Systems (HCIS) framework agreement. In addition, NHS SBS has supported a further 40 NHS organisations with their requirements to purchase clinical information systems independently.

Developed by NHS SBS with engagement from specialist clinicians, pharmacists, doctors and IT leads to define specifications and functionality, HCIS provides clinical system solutions to work across all healthcare settings. The framework offers six lots covering core clinical systems, theatre clinical systems, integrated emergency care clinical systems, child health systems, maternity systems and specialist electronic prescribing clinical systems.

To support providers with often complex procurements, including multiple clinical and commercial challenges, NHS SBS has designed a three level support package from guidance to light touch or full support that offers value for money without loss of capability to facilitate implementation.

Since its launch in February 2015, over 120 NHS organisations including Acute, Mental Health, Foundation and Ambulance Trusts have successfully contracted through the HCIS framework with their preferred supplier(s).

A large number of procurements under the framework have now completed and implementation is well underway.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT) considered a number of options for re-procurement upon exiting the LSP contract including full OJEU and established framework agreements before selecting NHS SBS. A key factor in this was the specialist assistance available.

Garry Payne, LSP Contract Exit Lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust said “The engagement with NHS SBS was extremely advantageous to the Trust, from their understanding of our needs and requirements for the procurement to the day-to-day management and support of the process. NHS SBS were able to provide framework specifications and invaluable tools for supporting the evaluation of tender responses.

“NHS SBS worked very closely with the Trust’s procurement board to ensure that the process ran on-time and within budget. BDCFT would recommend the use of NHS SBS for such procurements.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) also recently completed a further competition exercise under the HCIS framework. In order to drive best value for the re-procurement of its electronic patient record (EPR) system, the trust board decided to run a further competition process rather than use the direct award option. This decision proved to be extremely worthwhile as, due to the competitive nature of the Trust’s approach, they were able to gain a preferred system at a lower cost than expected. Not only did the further competition help the trust financially, it was also a great opportunity for the trust and the staff to think about what system they required and what features were really important to the end users.

Paul Charnley, CIO of the Information, Informatics and Innovation Service at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said “Rather than running a further competition ourselves, the trust decided to use the Light Touch approach offered by NHS Shared Business Services as part of their support package. This meant stakeholders from the Trust were engaged and involved with this process and were able to ensure they selected the best system for the trust. NHS Shared Business Services supported the Trust with this process ensuring fair and compliant procurement processes were fully met.

“Overall I would strongly recommend NHS Shared Business Services to run a further competition for any trust, as framework owners their level of knowledge and expertise of how to utilise the framework was excellent, and provided the Trust with great value for money.”

Tom Slater, Head of Strategic Programmes at NHS SBS agrees, “Clinical information systems that support better patient care and easy clinical management are complex to purchase and yet integral to NHS providers striving for the quality of care and delivery that supports the Personalised Health and Care 2020 Vision”.

For further information about NHS SBS client support via the HCIS framework or to access the agreement, please contact NSBS.contractenquiries@nhs.net.