A billion-pound framework aimed at improving health IT has gone live, with a score of trusts lining up to procure new kit.

The Clinical and Digital Information Systems (CDIS) Framework covers an estimated £800 million to £1.3 billion of IT work in London and the South. However, the framework is also available to health and local authorities used across the United Kingdom.

Developed by London Procurement Partnership, it is a refresh of the framework contract created by the ‘2015 consortium’ of 38 community and mental health trusts that needed to buy new systems and support before the end of their national contracts last October.

Overall, 68 suppliers have made it on to the frameworks, covering the full range of IT solutions focused of delivering the ‘paperless 2020’ vision across health and social care.

These were narrowed down from the 198 suppliers that responded to the tender, and include most of the big suppliers in the market, such as Cerner, Emis Health, Orion Health, System C, and CSC.

The framework includes: electronic patient records, specialist clinical systems, data hosting, informatics, integration, networks, telehealth, and patient facing applications, among other products.

These products are divided into four lots; EPRs, hosting, ‘enabling systems supporting EPR & digital 2020’, and ‘specialised digital solutions & professional services’.

The focus and mix of the products was designed to put single EPRs under pressure but provide a greater range of interoperability and innovative products.

Pushing choice to patients has also big a big motivator, it is understood.

Digital Health News understand that about 20 NHS organisations are already waiting to start procuring systems and services through the framework.

Like any other framework, the CDIS is designed to save NHS organisations time and money when procuring new IT, while ensuring a consistent standard of quality. The tagline for the framework is “commercial advantage for the NHS, by the NHS”.

For suppliers, in theory it provides a more secure route into NHS market, and potential to scale more quickly across organisations procuring off the same framework.

It comes after a new clinically focused NHS IT framework for the North was launched out of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, through its spin-off company QE Facilities.

NHS Share Business Services and NHS Supply Chain also run national health IT frameworks.

The ‘2015 Consortium’ framework that preceded the CDIS had a contracted value of more than £100 million. By working together, trusts could save £80m on the previous contract cost of their systems. The CDIS framework is likely to have higher value due to its wider applicability and extended scope.

The exact saving of its replacement not been was determined, but LPP has estimated savings of about 40% based on the previous consortium framework.

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