NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched its Technology Enabled Care Services 2 procurement framework, saying it can support the deployment of remote monitoring and virtual wards.
It has highlighted the potential to support integrated care systems (ICSs) in speeding up patient discharge, freeing up hospital beds, reducing the backlog of appointments and easing the pressures on social care teams.
The framework has been valued at up to £150 million and involves 19 suppliers and six lots for: remote clinical monitoring; alarm receiving centre platforms; digital alarm solutions and peripherals; intelligent activity monitoring; patient controlled personalised healthcare records; and one stop shop/combined solutions.
It provides scope for procurement through direct awards through the catalogue or running mini-competitions.
The framework has been designed with contributions from the NHS England Transformation Directorate, local authorities, technology enabled care (TEC) policy makers and industry bodies such as the TEC Services Association.
NHS SBS said it will support NHS England’s plan to boost the use of virtual wards by ICSs and provides rapid access to new technology in remote patient care.
Preparing for next winter
Head of category for digital and IT procurement frameworks Adam Nickerson said: “The coronavirus pandemic added to waiting lists and the knock-on effects of a lack of beds in the NHS and social care sector. As such, NHSE is looking to deploy virtual ward beds to scale up capacity from 7,000 to 10,000 this autumn, ready for next winter.
“As part of this ambition, ICSs are expected to deliver virtual ward capacity equivalent to 40-50 virtual ward beds per 100,000 people by December 2023, with virtual ward services developed across ICSs and provider collaboratives, rather than individual institutions. In so doing, improving health and integrated care across the health and care system.
“The framework agreement enables ICSs and provider collaboratives – from housing authorities to local authorities, to strategically source and quickly buy a mixture of goods be it a single, bundled or a fully managed service, which work across a region. It means they can better plan and deliver joined up services and improve the health of the population across their regional wing of care.”
The framework will be operational until at least July of next year, with possible extensions until January 2027, and is open to all UK public sector bodies.