Connecting for Health has today issued its tender for bids to join the catalogue of ‘additional systems suppliers’.

The tender in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) for an ‘Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) Framework Agreement’ is open to a maximum of 500 suppliers, for a period of up to four years. The estimated value of the tender is £100m.

As E-Health Insider exclusively revealed earlier this month, the catalogue will cover an array of different systems. CfH have decided to split systems into four different lots, and tenders can be received for more than one lot.

Lot one is for information and communications technology (ICT) services, including, amongst others, non-clinical ICT applications services, communications (data, audio, visual and telecommunications) and network services, web services, managed desktop solution services and helpdesk services.

Lot two is for specific clinical information technology (CIT) services including, amongst others, patient administration systems, GP surgery services, document management, digital imaging, dental, social care interfacing, community service, prison, diagnostic systems, urgent care systems and e-prescribing systems.

Other systems listed include pharmacy and stock control, order and results management, integrated care pathway and care planning, theatres, maternity, ambulances, accident and emergency, decision support, national service frameworks, screening and surveillance, child health services, health care professionals services, identity management services, renal services, oncology services, hospice services and ophthalmology.

Lot three is for a broad range of hardware, infrastructure and related services such as software and consultancy, including, amongst others, network infrastructure, peripherals and client devices.

It also covers the provision of a broad range of associated services, including, amongst others, ICT application and solutions consultancy, CIT application and solutions consultancy, TERS (Testing environments and related services) application and solutions consultancy, emerging technology consultancy, communications and network consultancy, management consultancy, project and programme management consultancy, market research consultancy and health research consultancy and step-in services.

Finally lot four is for TERS including, amongst others, functional test environment services, non-functional test environment services and test and assurance services.

The tender states: “The services are anticipated to deliver a broad range of service functionality which may include functional integration test environments, non-functional test environments, production support environments, release deployment, test data management, integration test design and development, integration test execution, design build test assurance, integration incident and problem management and step-in services. The services may also include some hardware, infrastructure and associated services where the majority of costs relate to service delivery.”

Whilst the primary purpose of any framework agreements awarded is to fulfil the need for products and services in the NHS in England any such agreements may, if required, be available for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they add.

Those bidding for the tender must fill in a 14 page Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) giving detailed 500-1000 word answers to a series of questions based on the structure of the bidder’s organisation, a detailed analysis on why they are expressing an interest and information on the organisation’s economic and financial standing.

National bidders will be subject to a series of possible financial standards based on the company’s net assets and turnover.

In a memorandum of information attached to the tender, CfH say the ASCC services shall include:

• Provision for delivery of new local, regional, pan-SHA and/or national systems.

• Provision of specialist knowledge, skills and services not currently or readily available from existing NPfIT suppliers or other government catalogue services.

• Contingency to manage any inability of incumbent NPfIT suppliers to deliver in whole or part against their existing contractual obligations. This could include replacement of a NASP, LSP, or Material Sub-Contractor, provision of ‘Step-In’ services to an NASP or LSP, provision of management support to maintain incumbent supplier delivery, etc.

• Delivery of standardised administrative systems across the NHS and/or the provision of additional or extended clinical systems/services.

• Provision for Testing environments and related services across the NHS and wider healthcare space to meet any future requirement.

“These requirements are intended to complement existing OGC frameworks, such as Catalist. as an additional procurement route for services and suppliers to the NHS. In respect of hardware and infrastructure services provision the ASCC frameworks will ensure that central monitoring can occur and that, where necessary, aggregation of multiple requests for like components can occur.

“It is not intended that any ASCC awarded frameworks will conflict with existing contractual arrangements.”

The tender is available to view and express interest in at (registration required). The deadline for applications is 25 April.


The tender is available to view at (registration required). The deadline for applications is 25 April.