Seven suppliers of digital dictation, voice recognition and outsource transcription software have been awarded a framework contract covering the supply and deliver of systems to more than 200 NHS trusts across the country.
The framework deal which covers six NHS procurement hubs may be worth up to £20m over the next four years. The seven suppliers are now competing to win contracts with the 40% of the NHS which the framework covers.
SRC, Dictate.it, BigHand, G2 Speech, Voice Technologies, Softech Global, and Dict8 have signed the four year framework agreement with NHS Yorkshire and Humber Collaborative Procurement Hub (YHCPC), which will allow trusts to contract a system directly from the chosen suppliers rather than embark on a lengthily OJEU tendering process.
Although the agreement was signed by YHCPS, the framework deal also covers the supply of systems to trusts within the East of England, South East Coast, Healthcare Purchasing Consortium and North West pro-cure collaborative procurement hubs. The seven suppliers have already started sending out information packs to the trusts covered.
The tender was put in out January 2009 after trusts in Yorkshire and the Humber found they were building up large backlogs of administrative paperwork which was having an impact on referral to treatment times.
The hub invited suppliers to offer solutions for digital dictation, voice recognition and outsourced transcription that would provide efficiency and cost savings across the primary care, mental health, ambulance and acute trusts.
Chris Hart, chief executive of SRC, said the overall framework contract could be worth in excess of £20m over the next four years.
He told E-Health Insider: “There were a huge number of suppliers at the beginning but they were quickly weeded out as they didn’t have proven capability. The process took several months as shortlists were made and then integration and training methodologies had to be assessed.”
SRC say that despite winning two of the three framework contracts, for digital dictation and voice recognition, they are still able to also provide outsourced transcription services through their close relationship with both ScribeTech and Dict8.
Hart added: “We are confident that we will get the largest majority of contract under the framework for digital dictation and voice recognition. We have a unique deal with our hardware suppliers Philips and Olympus where we have been able to get significant reductions in prices that we can pass onto the trusts.”
Mark Miller, managing director of Dictate.it, the only supplier selected to supply all three solutions to the NHS trusts, told EHI: "Unlike some of the other suppliers we offer a system that is dedicated entirely to the NHS. On top of that we can also provide all the solutions in a unified offering.”
Miller added: “Our next step is to run road shows across the country and also to invite trusts to visit those who have already implemented our system.”