Stage 2 - project initiation

Replacing legacy Transition Network (TN) connections with new HSCN services will require the initiation of a dedicated project. This project will need to plan, manage and direct:

  • the beginning and execution of the procurement
  • the call-off, implementation and migration of services
  • the transitioning to operations of the solution and the decommissioning of TN services

A call-off contract is a framework agreement with a supplier, where a customer can select and order (call-off) from a range of services available. 

Collaborative self-serve procurement

In a collaborative procurement, you or an appointed lead organisation will be responsible for initiating and leading a project to begin and execute your procurement. If you require support from Crown Commercial Service (CCS), for example if you intend to use one of their frameworks, then you'll need to talk directly to them to agree roles and responsibilities.

It's also down to you to decide how to manage the call-off, implementation and migration of services, and how to manage the framework, call-off contracts and solution in-life.

Here, 'in-life' refers to the management of a contract from initiation to award, compliance and renewal.

A major benefit of running your own procurement is having these options and aligning the approach to your regional strategies. However, if you have no plans to come together to coordinate the management of the regional network solution, then you should consider whether an aggregated procurement is a better option.

NHS Digital will support you by providing project management and procurement templates and guidance. We'll ask that you regularly report on progress so that we can manage a successful exit from the Transition Network.

Collaborative procurement guidance

Any organisations that have elected to take a collaborative procurement route need to ensure a certain level of readiness. 

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. 

NHS Digital has formulated some key documents which will enable organisations to understand and determine whether they are ready for a collaborative procurement approach.

These documents will need to be completed to ensure organisations are ready and committed to fulfilling a collaborative approach.

1. Target Operating Model Template

The Target Operating Model Template demonstrates how the governance structure in place will manage the migration from present supplier to the new wide area network. NHS Digital recommends that organisations involved in a collaborative procurement create a central team, known as an intelligent client function (ICF), which will underpin the Target Operating Model and ensure effective management of the collaborative procurement, migration and in-life contract.

The central team / ICF will have a set of core responsibilities: 

Procurement and migration
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the current solution and ensure the proposed network solution is fit for purpose
  • Determine service requirements on behalf of all organisations within the collaborative
  • Manage and allocate resources (including legal) to support procurement
  • Provide migration, co-ordination and management on behalf of partner organisations
  • Provide governance at all stages of procurement and contract lifecycle
  • Support partners through migration from the TN to HSCN and ensure that they call off services in a timescale aligned to the migration plan
In-life contract management
  • Ensure the supplier meets their commitment in relation to migration and business as usual service commitments 
  • Support partners when service delivery standards are not being met and act as an escalation point for partners where systemic issues arise
  • Support implementation and in-life management of the network solution (potentially including billing and payments)

2. Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent (LOI) states the organisation's commitment to fulfilling a collaborative procurement led by themselves. 

3. HSCN Access Procurement RACI

NHS Digital have created a responsibility assignment matrix template (HSCN Access Procurement RACI v2) outlining collaborative procurement roles and responsibilities.

Individual self-serve procurement

In an individual self-serve, you're responsible for managing the:

  • beginning and execution of your procurement
  • ordering, implementation and migration of services
  • in-life management of your contract and your services

It's important for you to inform NHS Digital of which legacy TN connections are in the scope of your procurement, so that these are not included in the scope of an aggregated procurement. To do this we will send you an inventory of your services and ask you to identify which are in scope.