New digital workplace framework launched by NHS SBS could save £75m

A new procurement framework developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), called the Digital Workplace Solutions Framework, has been launched to assist the NHS to purchase cost-effective IT solutions.

Twenty-eight public sector suppliers have been selected to offer their consumer-orientated technologies across various software and IT infrastructure solutions.

The framework has an estimated value of £500m and with savings of 15% compared with buying direct from a supplier, it represents a potential £75m cost saving for the public sector.  

The framework is due to run until August 2022, with an optional two-year extension through to 2024.

WHY IT MATTERS

The Digital Workplace Solutions Framework provides a way to procure enterprise license agreements developed specifically for the NHS.

It replaces the previous Link: IT Solutions Framework and provides an agreement with public bodies, such as NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), universities, police and local authorities.

The agreement includes servers, storage, networking, security and data centre infrastructure, end user computing devices, desktop operating systems, enterprise software and professional services.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Last week, a consortium of NHS trusts signed its second deal this year with imaging technology provider Sectra to advance how hospitals share and access diagnostic imaging.

Meanwhile, London North West University NHS trust deployed a communications platform from Healthcare Communications, to replace a manual approach to appointment management.

Also advancing their framework system, NHSX recently awarded smart health informatics provider Alcidion a place on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework, a new procurement system intended to help the NHS reduce pagers by the end of next year.

ON THE RECORD

Phil Davies, director of procurement at NHS SBS, said: “This new framework has been developed to build on the success of our previous Link: IT Solutions agreement, which was very well used by the NHS and wider public sector.

“It provides ease and peace of mind for organisations looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to meet their software and IT needs.

“As remote working has become commonplace due to COVID-19, the launch of the Digital Workplace Solutions Framework means public sector organisations can access technologies like VPN remote access and virtual desktops, which can be needed to mobilise home working securely and effectively.”

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