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HSCN customer journey

Executive summary
Which approach is right for you?
Aggregated procurement
Aggregated procurement timetable
Collaborative self-serve procurement
Collaborative procurement deadlines
Individual self-serve procurement

Executive summary

You have an option to join an aggregated procurement run by NHS Digital, or to mobilise and run your own collaborative self-serve procurement with partners. You can also run your own individual self-serve procurement.  

In an aggregated procurement NHS Digital will plan, manage and direct a regional-based procurement for you on the new HSCN dynamic purchasing system (DPS) called RM3825. To do this we'll group you into a buying club with other organisations in your region to optimise your procurement. The new DPS allows HSCN compliant suppliers to compete to provide you with a catalogue of HSCN connectivity services. You'll have an opportunity to feed in your requirements prior to us running the procurement, and once it completes you can order the services you need from the winning supplier.

In a collaborative self-serve procurement, you'll need to plan, manage and direct your own procurement in collaboration with your health and social care partners. You can use the new HSCN DPS or other routes, such as via Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), the existing RM1045 framework or by using the HSCN DPS. NHS Digital can provide you with procurement and project management templates and advice, but you're ultimately accountable and responsible for your procurement.

Once your procurement is complete, whether that's something you run yourself or that NHS Digital does on your behalf, you'll need to work with your supplier to co-ordinate the delivery and migration of your new HSCN services. Across the country, HSCN suppliers will be working with the NHS Digital HSCN Deployment Office to coordinate the overall migration from the Transition Network.

Which approach is right for you?

This information is provided as general guidance; please contact your Regional Migration Manager to discuss your options in detail. If you decide to run your own collaborative procurement there are deadlines you need to meet, and if you want to join your regional aggregated procurement please refer to the timetable to make sure you know when it's happening.

The table below summarises your options. If you decide to run your own procurement you may have additional local options such as existing agreements which aren't shown here.

 OJEU processRM3825RM1045
Aggregated procurement (NHS Digial-led)N/AAll aggregated procurements will be run on RM3825 as a further competition and will be led by NHS Digital.N/A
Collaborative self-serve procurement (customer-led)You have the option of running your own OJEU procurement for HSCN compliant services.
You may want to consider this option if:
  • you have complex requirements
  • you wish to engage in supplier dialogue or negotiation
  • you are comfortable running OJEU procurements (and have, or will have, a lead organisation to publish the OJEU)
  • you do not feel the HSCN DPS can accommodate your requirements
You can use the new HSCN DPS to run a competition. This is expected to be a quicker and simpler option than an OJEU but it doesn't offer you as much flexibility.RM1045 continues to be available until 2019. You should note however the following constraints:
  • it doesn't have all HSCN compliant suppliers and will not be accepting new suppliers
  • you would need to factor in the framework end date of July 2019
Individual self-serve procurement (customer-led)You have the option of running your own OJEU procurement for HSCN compliant services. Given the amount of effort involved in running an OJEU procurement however, this is only likely to be a potential route for an organisation with a significant number of sites.You have the option of running a mini-competition on the new DPS.
Direct Awards are not supported.
You can use RM1045 to either run a mini-competition or do a Direct Award, if appropriate.
Note the constraints above.

Aggregated procurement 

Aggregated procurements will be managed by NHS Digital and are intended for organisations that either do not have existing collaborative arrangements in place, or cannot create them in time to migrate off their legacy connections and onto HSCN.

Even if you have collaborative arrangements in place you may prefer to join an aggregated procurement to have NHS Digital do it for you. This is fine; however, you are reminded that the procurement will be planned and managed by NHS Digital and therefore you may have less opportunity to shape the outcome, compared to a collaborative approach.

Aggregated procurements will deliver 3+1+1 year contracts, so whilst you may not be ready to mobilise your own collaborative approach now, you will have the option to collaborate with your partners in the future.

Aggregated procurements are being planned on a regional basis; you'll be grouped with other organisations in your region, including those in neighbouring sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) footprints. All aggregated procurements will be run as further competitions on RM3825. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) launched RM3825 in November 2017, however NHS Digital will stagger the launch of each aggregated procurement. The output of each procurement will be a catalogue of HSCN services, provided by a single supplier, from which you can order the HSCN connectivity services that you need. You have to be included in the aggregated procurement when it goes to market if you want to order services from the catalogue.

Aggregated procurement (NHS Digital managed) timeline

If you wish to be part of an NHS Digital managed aggregated procurement you'll need to be aware of the dates below.

No later than 6 weeks before launch of the aggregated procurement for your area

Confirm your intention to be part of an aggregatec procurement managed by NHS Digital.

Attend an aggregated procurement regional workshop - we'll provide you with details of these nearer the time.

Confirm your HSCN connectivity requirements for inclusion within an aggregated procurement - the NHS Digital HSCN team will provide you with a template for this.

From December 2017

NHS Digital will begin aggregated procurements.

Aggregated procurement timetable 

The table below shows when NHS Digital plan to launch each aggregated procurement. Details of which organisations are included in each aggregated procurement can be found on the aggregated procurement grouping page.

Aggregated procurement numberNameProposed schedule
AP1Once for LondonJanuary 2018
AP2ALB NHS DigitalDecember 2017
AP3ALB NHS England2018
AP4South WestDecember 2017
AP5North EastFebruary 2018
AP6South EastMarch 2018
AP7MidlandsJune 2018
AP8EastAugust 2018
AP9North WestOctober 2018
AP10Other non-regionalTBC

View the aggregated procurement customer journey.

Collaborative self-serve procurement

When considering a collaborative approach, you'll need to work with your partners to understand how you'll:

  • procure your HSCN services
  • migrate your legacy connections
  • manage the new contracts and network solution in-life

Customers choosing a collaborative approach typically already have the necessary operating model in place with their partners. This is because they already deliver collaborative IT programmes, such as community of interest networks (CoINs) or other shared IT services. This operating model, which we call an intelligent client function (ICF), includes a nominated lead organisation, a procurement capability, access to legal resources and the governance structures and working groups such as a technical design authority. They also already manage shared solutions and contracts/frameworks in-life.

However, some groups of organisations are coming together to build new collaborative capabilities to deliver their own HSCN solution. These groups are typically aligned to the STP footprints and will have longer term visions or strategies for delivering shared IT services; they see HSCN as one of the first steps on that journey.

Find details of existing collaborative procurement groupings.

Collaborative self-serve and individual self-serve procurements need to launch by the end of 2017 and need to have evidenced their readiness to do this no later than 15 September 2017 - if you're unable to do this we'll need to include you in one of our centrally managed aggregated procurements.

Collaborative procurement deadlines

Collaborative self-serve procurement
Positioned as positive option but only where mature joint working plans are in place already.

Confirm procurement route and lead entity, governance and operating model arrangements, organisations involved, evidence commitment - Collaborative Readiness Check meeting no.1.15 September 17
Confirm resources, scope of services and migration priorities - Collaborative Readiness Check Meeting no.2.31 October 17
Launch your procurement and notify NHS Digital of this.31 December 17
Complete your procurement and notify NHS Digital of the outcome30 September 18

If you're not already well progressed with a collaborative procurement and are unable to conform to the timetable set out above you should join an aggregated procurement. This will enable you to collaborate with other health and social care organisations in due course and provides the simplest way to obtain HSCN connectivity. 

Read the customer led procurement customer journey.

Individual self-serve procurement

Individual self-serve procurements are intended for single organisations that don't wish to participate in either a collaborative or an aggregated procurement. These organisations typically want to quickly deploy commodity connections through either a framework or an existing arrangement. NHS Digital encourages you to procure HSCN services through a competitive process, however it is ultimately your choice.

Individual self-serve procurement
Positioned as a valid option but only where plans are clear
Provide NHS Digital with a list of the connections you plan to procure30 September 17
Launch your procurement and notify NHS Digital of this31 December 17
Complete your procurement and notify NHS Digital of the outcome30 September 18

Read the customer led procurement customer journey.

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