NHS England strategic framework for the NHS commercial sector, outlining ambitions for next five years

NHS England has published a strategic framework for the NHS commercial sector, outlining objectives and ambitions for the next five years across four key themes: our people, digital and transparency, how we work, and influence and scale.

In a foreword, Jacqui Rock, chief commercial officer at NHS England, voices her belief that “the NHS Commercial community has a more significant role than ever in supporting our health service to deliver on its priorities for patients and staff”, ensuring frontline staff “have what they need, in the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost”.

The strategic framework presents a section on digital and transparency, highlighting the need to use data as a strategic asset, to flow information to where it can be used to deliver the most value, and enhancing public trust by increasing transparency.

A series of actions are outlined within the framework which aim to help attain these goals; the development of a digital strategy for NHS Commercial is to help drive continued investment in technologies aligned with national data standards, with a “prime objective” being getting rid of duplication and maximising return on investment and effectiveness. To build on the successful rollout of Atamis, a national eCommercial platform will be delivered to help all NHS organisations in the delivery of “core strategic commercial activities” such as sourcing and tendering, and benefits realisation. Other actions include developing a single supplier registration portal, improving analytics capabilities, and implementing a unified product data ‘ecosystem’ built on a national solution.

A focus on value, innovation and cost will be prioritised through “surfacing clinical, cost, activity and outcome data from key repositories and registries”, aligned with the DHSC Medical Technology Strategy. The strategic framework also outlines plans to “pursue progressive improvements in procurement”, improving operational and transactional procurement activities such as low value purchasing, by “working with finance colleagues to introduce relevant automation and new models of delivery”.

Safety will be prioritised by promoting Scan4Safety within NHS England’s Digital Clinical Safety Strategy, improving patient safety, traceability, and supply chain efficiency.

To read the strategic framework in full, please click here.

In other related news, NHS England has opened a procurement framework for the provision of digital pathway solutions to support primary care IT with an estimated value of £297,600,060.

Elsewhere, NHS England has announced that the contract for the Federated Data Platform has been awarded to a group led by Palantir Technologies UK with support from Accenture, PwC, NECS and Carnall Farrar, with up to £330 million to be invested over the contractual period of seven years.