RM3825 Supplier Briefing Note

Date: 06 September 2017

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is now approaching the launch of a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for the provision of HSCN connectivity.  The DPS approach is being followed to enable new suppliers to join and provide services when they achieve the relevant HSCN accreditations.  A traditional framework agreement would have effectively locked the supplier list for its contracted duration (typically four years) which would not be in line with a key HSCN objective of encouraging an open and vibrant marketplace.

Both CCS and NHS Digital remain keen to assess and incorporate supplier views into our approach and would like to thank those of you who have provided feedback already.  Based on the initial supplier feedback and as communicated at supplier events, we have used the existing RM1045 Terms and Conditions as the basis for the DPS.  We are currently incorporating amendments to these terms as necessary, to optimise the DPS arrangements to suit the HSCN eco-system, and to simplify where appropriate.

The timetable for establishing the DPS remains fast paced, in order to enable NHS Digital to initiate the launch of a series of Aggregated Procurements later this year, we are aiming to publish the OJEU Contract Notice for the DPS in early October. Prior to publishing the OJEU Contract Notice, we will be holding a supplier engagement webinar on 14 September at 3pm, please register here.  This will be followed by a further supplier briefing event in London on 21 September, please register here.

Thank you again for your ongoing engagement and we hope to see you at our scheduled events.

Andrew Wilson, Head of Commercial – HSCN, NHS Digital, and
Ieuan Trigger, Category Director, Network Services – CCS

Background
NHS Digital and CCS are collaborating to establish a new national agreement, HSCN Access Services (RM3825), which will be dedicated to making HSCN connectivity readily available from all HSCN compliant suppliers.

This agreement will be for use by, or on behalf of, UK public sector bodies who have a need for the provision of data access services, to facilitate connectivity to the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

Non public sector entities may also use the agreement in order to (i) satisfy contractual obligations to one or more public sector bodies, all of which are entitled to use the agreement on their own account; (ii) carry out any function of a public nature.

This agreement will be a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to ensure access to all capable suppliers and will be based on a selection questionnaire process.

What is HSCN?
The Health & Social Care Network is the new data network for health and care organisations, replacing N3 and providing connectivity for the NHS and wider health and social care providers.

All NHS organisations are required to procure HSCN connectivity. For further details please see the HSCN website.

What is a DPS?
A DPS differs from a framework in that applications are open for the duration of a DPS for suppliers to request to participate. Provided that a supplier meets the minimum criteria based on a standard selection questionnaire and a DPS specific questionnaire, they will be admitted onto the DPS and can participate in competitions. For more information on a DPS please visit our DPS information webpage.

Where can I find information on the RM3825 procurement?

CCS have a webpage dedicated to RM3825 where updates can be found, which can be accessed here.

Contact us by email: nsprojects@crowncommercial.gov.uk

DPS timeline
We are jointly working to an aggregated plan encompassing activities to establish the DPS and launch / run Aggregated Procurements for HSCN connectivity.  The DPS elements of which follow the indicative timeline below:

  • DPS OJEU Contract Notice dispatch –  early October 2017
  • DPS Go-Live – mid-November 2017

Building the Document Set

The contract conditions for RM3825 are based upon those of Network Services (RM1045). This decision was taken early in the sourcing process following feedback from the supplier and customer communities.  Necessarily there have been some variations applied to these terms due to the narrower scope of the agreement and the requirement for suppliers to hold specific HSCN compliance.

Additionally the RM3825 terms include some updated provisions to capture developments in the two years since Network Services was awarded (e.g. addressing GDPR, as well as explicitly addressing TUPE scenarios), specific arrangements to suit the HSCN eco-system and to simplify where appropriate.

The delta between both RM1045 and RM3825 will be reviewed at the supplier event scheduled for 21 September.

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