A new framework designed to increase innovation and choice in the primary care IT market has been launched by NHS Digital.
An invitation to tender has been issued for suppliers to join the Tech Innovation Framework, which aims to empower GPs and commissioners by giving them access to a wider range of technology, enabling them to deliver better care.
The framework will be a blueprint for introducing the next generation of standards for IT systems, with prospective suppliers required to deliver six core functions in general practice.
Any organisation can tender to become part of the framework, which has been designed to encourage new ways of working.
Commissioners will be able to use this framework to buy user-focused GP systems and associated products and services.
Helen Clifton, Executive Director for Product Delivery at NHS Digital, said: “This is a key step forward on our journey to putting patients at the heart of everything we do by ensuring primary care benefits from the very latest technology.
“The new framework will introduce new solutions into the market to work alongside our current GP offer, providing greater choice and different user experiences.
“It will give GPs access to innovative solutions that feature tools they need to make their jobs easier and services which enhance the care they provide patients.”
This is the next stage of the GP IT Futures programme, which aims to move towards open, cloud-based systems which can be accessed over the internet on any device.
Suppliers submitting a tender to join the Tech Innovation Framework will need to provide a solution which delivers at least the six core functions:
- Patient information maintenance
- Appointments management
- Recording consultations
- Referral management
- Resource management
Suppliers will also have to meet all the standards on the Digital Care Services Catalogue, including the GP IT Futures Tech Innovation Standard, which is looking for public cloud-hosted, internet first, browser-based solutions with open APIs that provide a modern user experience.
Engagement work has already taken place with potential suppliers, 36 of whom expressed an interest in the framework plans.
The Tech Innovation Framework is the fourth framework to launch under the Digital Care Services Buying Catalogue, along with the GP IT Futures and Digital First Online Consultation, Adult Social Care and Video Consultation frameworks.
The Digital Care Services Buying Catalogue allows health and care organisations to find, compare and order assured tools and solutions from multiple frameworks. This enables primary care providers to use approved suppliers who have been assured against a common set of standards for technology and data, privacy and security and service management.
The invitation to tender has been published using the Welcome (force.com) Health Family eCommercial System and details are also available via Contracts Finder and Find A Tender.