HSCN customer journey

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 process RM3825 RM1045
Aggregated procurement (NHS Digial-led) N/A All 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 (APs) 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.

Important points

NHS Digital will manage a series of APs that will combine health and social care organisations' requirements into a single procurement based on a geographic footprint, or other relevant considerations.

Following the successful go live of the HSCN Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) RM3825 in November 2017 all APs will be run on RM3825. NHS Digital are now launching APs and will stagger the release dates to ensure timely migration while encouraging maximum supplier participation in each AP.

Organisations are encouraged to join an NHS Digital run AP if they do not have mature collaborative or individual self-serve procurement plans in place. Organisations wishing to join an AP will need to provide their connectivity requirements and commitment to participate to NHS Digital in advance of its launch.

Potential benefits of joining an aggregated procurement:

  1. You are able to take advantage of economies of scale generated through the formation of a buying club which will take sizeable opportunities to market.
  2. NHS Digital will plan, manage and direct a regional-based procurement for you on the new CCS HSCN DPS, RM3825, saving organisation resources, costs and the requirement for local procurement/legal/commercial expertise.
  3. NHS Digital will support your organisation's input of information into requirements gathering templates to ensure that the required services are available to call off. 
  4. The HSCN DPS, RM3825, is a faster process than a traditional framework and NHS Digital intends to use repeatable processes during each procurement to support a streamline process, reducing time between procurement launch and contract award.
  5. HSCN compliant suppliers can apply to join RM3825 at any time, creating a flexible and growing supplier marketplace for each AP.
  6. Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will provide support to organisation's post-contract award if issues arise.
  7. APs will provide consumer organisations with choice in terms of the services that they contract for.
  8. The AP schedule has been designed to support organisation's procurement and migration to HSCN in a timely manner.

Considerations for aggregated procurements:

  1. The timing of migration and schedule of regional launches may mean later migration than otherwise possible or may not match your organisations current contract end dates. 
  2. The procurement award decision will be determined centrally (based on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender).
  3. You will have to baseline certain elements before launch and cannot add new legal entities, sites or requirements post launch.
  4. The AP solution is less tailored to individual requirements, but as stated above APs will provide consumer organisations with choice in terms of the services that they contract for.
  5. Overlay services will need to be procured separately from connectivity. This decision was made to enable flexibility, allowing overlay services to be purchased separately from specialist suppliers which could realise further cost savings.
  6. APs will be planned and managed by NHS Digital, therefore you may have less opportunity to shape the outcome, compared to a collaborative or individual self-serve approach.

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 aggregated 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 name Proposed schedule
Once for London February 2018
ALB NHS Digital December 2017
ALB NHS England 2018
ALB Other ALBs March 2018
South West December 2017
North East February 2018
South East March 2018
Midlands June 2018
East August 2018
North West October 2018
Other non-regional TBC

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.

Important points

Some organisations are collaborating with health and social care partners in the procurement of a shared regional network.

Collaborative procurements require organisations to work together operationally. Specifically, they need to understand their joint requirements and establish joint governance and shared network management arrangements.

Collaborative procurements can be run via the new RM3825 HSCN framework, which is NHS Digital's recommendation. Other frameworks such as, RM1045, do not offer the full range of HSCN complaint suppliers. Some collaboratives are using an OJEU, which is suitable if you have requirements broader than just connectivity and the appropriate resource and expertise to use this framework.

If organisations are not already well progressed with a collaborative procurement they are advised to join an aggregated procurement. They can consider collaborating with other organisations for future contract renewals and for information sharing without procuring as part of a collaborative.

Potential benefits of joining a collaborative:

  1. You are able to take advantage of economies of scale generated through the formation of a buying club.
  2. Sharing resources can lead to reduced costs and shared procurement expertise.
  3. Reduced costs from potential shared connections to buildings with joint occupancy.
  4. Greater flexibility and choice with the timing of procurement and migration compared to an aggregated procurement. However you will still need to adhere to NHS Digital overall timelines for procurement and migration.
  5. Greater regional health and care integration.
  6. Reduced local resourcing requirements through standardised central network management, shared ICT and contract management.
  7. NHS Digital can provide you with procurement and project management templates, and advice.
  8. You can choose whether to use the DPS RM3825 framework, OJEU, or the existing RM1045 framework depending on your contracting model.
  9. Customers choosing a collaborative approach typically already have the necessary operating model in place with their partners, which new organisations joining can integrate with. This is because they already deliver collaborative IT programmes, such as 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, and the governance structures and working groups such as a Technical Design Authority. They also already manage shared solutions and contracts/frameworks in-life.
  10. Opportunity for greater participation through directly engaging in supplier dialogue and negotiation.

Considerations for collaborative procurements:

  1. In order to run a collaborative procurement, it's important to have an established governance structure in place. This will enable the procurement process to progress and allow successful in-life contract management.
  2. NHS Digital has put together a checklist of actions which prospective collaborations need to address to be viable. For more details and templates see the section on HSCN collaborative procurement project initiation.
  3. Reaching agreement in a collaborative likely requires compromise which may mean less flexibility.
  4. Decision making speed may be slower. Costs and resources may not be shared equitably.
  5. Procurement decisions may ultimately be in the hands of the lead organisation depending on the nature of the governance arrangements that are put in place.
  6. Organisations are not in complete control of their timeline, which could lead to later migration than if going individually.
  7. The collaborative is ultimately accountable and responsible for your procurement.
  8. When considering a collaborative approach, you will need to work with your partners to understand how you'll procure your HSCN services and any limitations this procurement approach might have on possible routes to market, how you will migrate your legacy connections, and how you will manage the new contracts and network solution in-life.

Collaborative procurement deadlines

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

Deadline
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 outcome 30 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
Deadline
Provide NHS Digital with a list of the connections you plan to procure 30 September 17
Launch your procurement and notify NHS Digital of this 31 December 17
Complete your procurement and notify NHS Digital of the outcome 30 September 18

Read the customer led procurement customer journey.