A free-to-access cyber security framework has been launched to help the NHS manage risks.

The Cyber Security Services Framework provides access to 25 suppliers specialising in managing cyber risks, recovering from attacks, cyber consultancy and security personnel.

The £250m framework is set to run until May 2022 with an option to extend for a further two years.

It is open to NHS and other public sector organisations, including local authorities, emergency services and schools.

Developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) in partnership with NHS Digital and the National Cyber Security Centre, it aims to address the Department of Health and Social Care’s cyber security agenda.

Phil Davies, director of procurement at NHS Shared Business Services, said: “The launch of this new framework is particularly timely as the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a new wave of cyber-attacks and scams.

“Technology plays a huge part in the way the NHS delivers patient care so it is vital that healthcare providers keep data secure, whilst being prepared for and resilient against attacks.

“The NHS and public sector has been proactive in harnessing improvements in cyber security since the WannaCry attacks in 2017 but there is still more work to be done. This framework provides a sustainable and trusted solution to help organisations meet the challenges around cyber security head on.”

The framework consists of three lots. Lot one is emergency cyber incident management aimed at helping organisations find support in dealing with a crisis or large scale incident quickly.

Lot two is cyber consultancy services for ad hoc or ongoing support such as security testing and data security assessments and lot three is for the supply of specialist personnel to back up in-house security capabilities.

The 25 specialist suppliers on the framework were awarded after a comprehensive procurement process and include a range of multinationals and SMEs to suit all needs.

They include Accenture, Deloitte, DXC Technology, BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience and PA Consulting.

It will allow the NHS and other public sector organisations to directly award contacts without the need for a complex and time-consuming procurement process.

For more information on the framework, or a full list of suppliers, visit the framework website here.