HSCN agreement will include dynamic purchasing system

New contract for services on Health and Social Care Network will have flexibility for suppliers to join during its lifetime

NHS Digital and the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) are planning to launch a new procurement contract for services on the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

Pen on contract documentThe organisations are planning to publish an OJEU notice on the new agreement next month, according to the trade association for network and application services providers Innopsis.

It said the contract – named the Health and Social Care Access Services Agreement: R3825 – will work as a dynamic purchasing system agreement.

This differs from the existing CCS network connectivity frameworks in that any suppliers that meet the mandatory requirements can join at any time throughout its duration, rather than having to get onto the framework when it is first launched. This should provide a more flexible market for public sector organisations buying services related to the HSCN.

The move follows a series of supplier briefings, and Innopsis has issued the draft contract to interested suppliers with a request for feedback. It said that NHS Digital and CCS are ready to amend it before formal publication.

Information exchange

The HSCN has been developed by NHS Digital to support the exchange of information between the health and social care sectors, and will replace the NHS N3 broadband network.

Michael Bowyer, innovation and knowledge sharing director of Innopsis, said in a recent interview that a new framework would be available for what he predicted as a big wave of procurements of HSCN services in the first quarter of next year.

He said a crucial point for the development of the network was reached with the recent delivery of the Peering Exchange – a “super switch” for customer network service providers to the HSCN.

Image: Gunnar Wrobel - Contract. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons