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NHS England on the hunt for 'next-generation IT systems'

NHS England wants to create an authoritative source of information for clinicians at the point of care, using next-generation IT systems

NHS England’s Digital Urgent and Emergency Care programme wants to engage with suppliers of “next-generation” IT systems to explore how to improve clinical access to service information.

In a pre-tender document, NHS England said it wants to create an “authoritative source of information” about health and social care services – such as who can refer patients and appointment availability – that is available for clinicians at the point of care.

“NHS England wishes to explore the next generation of systems that provide clinicians with access to high-quality, accurate information about services, their service capabilities, real-time service capacity information, and connections to booking and referral systems,” the pre-tender said.

NHS England estimates the full contract value, should it choose to procure, is worth between £12m and £20m.

As part of the NHS five year forward view, published by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens in October 2014, urgent and emergency care services aim to join up and use technology to improve patient outcomes.

“Clinicians and staff in all settings need to be able to deliver best possible outcomes for patients, equipping the NHS with information, not just to signpost patients to other services, but the ability to connect patients with the next stage of the care or treatment they need,” the pre-tender said.

“To do this they need to have immediate access to high-quality information about the services available for patients in real time on any device, particularly given the changing models of care on mobile devices.”

NHS England expects there are new technologies that can contribute to delivering better services and “envisage a number of components that will need to be included in the overarching solution”.

These include being able to do comprehensive data analysis and information insights, such as the ability to “simulate predictive service provision” based on scenarios such as historic behaviours, winter pressures and pandemics.

NHS England is aiming to “gauge the levels of interest” from suppliers and inform them on possible opportunities in connection with the programme.

“During the engagement suppliers will be encouraged to use their innovation, expertise and knowledge to help NHS England define the systems and tools that will deliver service information to clinicians, raise potential implications that might impact future service delivery models and respond to requests for rough order of magnitude costs,” the pre-tender said. 

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