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NHS SBS to launch £1.5bn digital workplace solutions framework

NHS Shared Business Services is planning on a second iteration of its digital workplace solutions framework before the current one expires in August 2024

NHS Shared Business Services has issued a prior information notice (PIN) to inform the market of its plans for a second iteration of its digital workplace solutions framework and to begin engaging with suppliers.

The framework, valued at £1.5bn, is due to go live before the current framework agreement expires on 9 August 2024.

The current digital workplace services framework aims to provide NHS and social care organisations with a procurement route for end-to-end IT services, as well as individual elements.

This can include datacentre infrastructure, servers and storage, networking products, end user computing hardware and software, bespoke software, professional services, and training.

NHS SBS proposes that the new framework includes infrastructure management services, communication services and information systems and services.

The framework aims to help the NHS invest in improving NHS IT systems to make sure staff have the right technology to do their jobs, and that systems are interoperable and able to share information at the point of care.

This is in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, published by the government in 2019 with a goal of bringing the health service into the digital age.

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The plan includes how the NHS will use its extra £20.5bn a year in funding by 2023/24, which was gifted to the health service for its 70th birthday in 2018 by then prime minister Theresa May. 

The aim is to create an NHS built around the needs of the patient, using technologies to improve access to services, and focusing on prevention and early detection of diseases.

At the time of the launch, NHS England described the plan as a “blueprint to make the NHS fit for the future”, using technology to transform services, adding that the NHS will use “cutting-edge scans and technology, including the potential use of artificial intelligence” to transform services.  

The first iteration of the digital workplace solutions framework offered NHS organisations potential saving opportunities of between 10-20%, and was launched in 2020. There are 28 suppliers on the current framework, including small and medium-sized enterprises and resellers.

NHS SBS plans to hold market engagement sessions during October 2023 with industry experts and suppliers that are interested in potentially bidding for the framework.

The aim is to publish the contract notice for the framework by the end of January 2024 and go live shortly before 9 August 2024.

NHS SBS currently runs 10 different IT and digital frameworks available for NHS and social care. This includes the digital workplace hardware framework, which complements the digital workplace solutions framework. The framework offers end-user computing hardware, such as laptops desktops, mobile devices and medical IT hardware.

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