The framework agreement has been designed to provide a compliant and convenient route to market for the NHS commissioners within England.
This includes NHS England and Improvement, clinical commissioning groups, primary care networks, NHS trusts and NHS special health authorities.
It allows clinicians to access a wide range of communication tools all under one procurement framework agreement. Participating authorities have the freedom and flexibility to make a direct award or undertake a mini-competition to meet the bespoke requirement of each customer.
The suppliers have been assessed to ensure that they meet all legislative requirements; therefore no formal tendering is required, saving valuable time and money in the procurement process. The framework contains large national companies but also a healthy number of regional SMEs, and all can showcase their products via the framework, helping buyers to make informed local decisions.
Framework date and duration
3 August 2020 to 3 August 2022. Possible further extension for 12 months.
Guidance for using the framework
Buying services through the framework
1. What is the Clinical Communication Framework
The Clinical Communications Procurement Framework is an agreement (between the government and suppliers), that is faster than entering into individual procurement contracts.
2. Support services
One of the benefits of using this framework is that you will have access to support services from the Hub, who will make sure to guide you through the process. They are a friendly, reactive team ready to provide you with the best possible experience as you work your way through the purchase of these services.
3. Who can buy
All NHS organisations can use this framework to buy services. Our aim is to make this available to as many parties as possible.
4. Geographic coverage
The coverage is nationwide.
5. Various provider types
A broad range of suppliers, from SMEs to large corporate companies.
6. Direct award option
There is the opportunity to directly award on the framework using a direct award procedure if the supplier best fits your requirements and budget.
7. Mini-competition option
There is the opportunity to run a mini competition off the main framework agreement to meet any more bespoke requirements and to support with driving down pricing.
Before you start
1. List your requirements
Make sure to have the advice of someone who will use the service or buying specialists and technical experts in order to list your ‘must-haves’, ‘wants’ and critical success factors. You will need to consider the budget available, the technical and procurement requirements of the project and the criteria on which your choice will be based. If you get stuck, not to worry, the Hub will be there to help guide you through this stage of the process.
2. Talk to suppliers
This must be done as part of an early engagement event prior to publishing your requirements.
Talking to suppliers will help you with the following:
- understand your requirements better
- write clearer requirements to publish to suppliers
- understand how much the work could cost
- understand how long the work could take
- write a better business case
Details you could provide
Information you could give suppliers includes:
- your organisation’s name and department
- background to your organisation and project
- what you want to achieve
- the phases you want them to give feedback on
- the date you need them to respond by
- where the work for any future project will take place
- when you want the work to start
- the information you want them to provide, for example, how much the work might cost, how many people it might involve and how long it might take
- any next steps
The more detail you can give to potential suppliers about your requirements, the easier it will be for them to provide a thorough response.
The approach you should take
It’s your responsibility to decide how you’re going to run the early market engagement process. You should get commercial or legal advice before you start.
You must comply with the principles in the European Directive on Public Procurement and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when you do early market engagement. This means you must ensure you don’t give any supplier, whether you talk to them or not, a competitive advantage.
Legally, you have to:
- treat all suppliers equally
- be transparent about what you need and the process you’re following
- ensure any requests for information you make are proportionate to your needs
- share any relevant information from early market engagement in your requirements
- exclude a supplier if you think they might have an unfair advantage because of their involvement in early market engagement
You must not:
- discriminate against any suppliers, for example, by writing your requirements in a way that unfairly excludes a particular supplier
- share information about your requirements with one supplier if you’re not going to share it with other suppliers, for example, tell one supplier your budget if you’re not going to publish it with your requirements for other suppliers to see
- share a supplier’s confidential information
4. Keep an audit trail
An audit trail is a record of what you do when you buy services on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework. You will need to take screenshots and document your search as you go.
If you award a contract through this framework, you must be able to show that your assessment of services was fair and transparent.
You should keep your own record of your communications with suppliers, including any early market engagement, clarification questions, emails and face to face conversations you have.
5. Bring your own device [BYOD] guidance
We want to best support trusts in being able to use the technology they both want and need. A recent NHS Digital Academy study by Rob Blagden from the 2gether foundation trust found that the NHS had the biggest gap (compared to other public sector organisations) between NHS trusts who allow BYOD but don’t have a policy. The research identified that without a clear policy in place users were more likely to use technology how they like and inadvertently putting NHS organisations at risk.
Buyers are required to provide to the National Commercial and Procurement Hub an assurance checklist and bid document.
How to buy: a step by step guide
1. Search for suppliers
Use the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework to search for services that meet your needs.
2. Use the supplier service search tool to filter suppliers to meets needs
You must assess all of the services in your search results, in a fair and transparent way. Add keywords to create a list of services that meet your wants as well as your must-haves.
You will need to take screenshots and document your search as you go.
3.1 Assess suppliers
When you search for services on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework, you must assess all the services in your search results, making sure to assess according to your budget and requirements. Your assessment of these services should always be as fair and as transparent as possible. You must not unfairly exclude any services without referring back to your requirements.
3.2 Ask clarification questions to the suppliers
You can contact suppliers to ask them to explain their service description, terms and conditions, pricing or service definition documents. You must not negotiate with suppliers about the details of their service. If it isn’t in their service description, you can’t ask a question about it. Always keep a record of any conversations you have with suppliers.
3.3 Reviewing service descriptions
Your assessment should be based on the information in suppliers’ detailed service descriptions. Spend some time going through the descriptions of the services you’ve found to find the service that best meets your budget and requirements. Each service description includes a: terms and conditions document, pricing document. They may also include a service definition document. The price shown on the service description page is the cost of the most common configuration of the service. Pricing is normally volume-based, so you should always look at the supplier’s pricing document to work out the actual price of what you’re going to buy.
3.4 Choosing the winning supplier
When choosing the winning service, you should consider: whole life cost – the cost effectiveness, price and running costs of the service, technical merit and functional fit – for example, coverage, network capacity and performance, after-sales service management – the helpdesk, account management function and assurance of supply of a range of services, non-functional characteristics – for example, supplier terms, help with on boarding and off boarding, scalability, reliability and automatic disaster recovery. Your final choice should be based on best fit, rather than ruling out suppliers that don’t meet either your current contract or an ideal set of terms. When you have chosen a service, you can award a contract to the supplier.
If you cannot find a supplier after your first assessment, then we would advise proceeding to a mini competition in order to find the best match for you. The opportunity will be advertised for approved suppliers to take part in. Following a submission of their offer, you will be required to evaluate their offer and a moderation session will take place, revealing the winning bidder.
4.1 Award the contract
The buyer and supplier must both sign a copy of the contract before the service can be used.
4.1 Download the contract
Check the framework name and number on the service description page before you download your templates and legal documents.
4.2 Contract length
The maximum length of a contract is normally 24 months. After this you’ll need to start a new search on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework.
In some cases you may be able to extend your contract if you have the right approvals.
4.3 Terms and conditions
If there’s any contradiction between the contract terms and conditions and the framework terms and conditions, the framework terms will take precedence. In a contract, the terms and conditions and prices are all agreed when the framework agreement is signed.
When you award a contract, you must tell us the outcome and send us the contract details. We collect this information to help us improve the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework for buyers and suppliers.
4.5 Feedback to suppliers
We will gather your comments to send feedback to suppliers on areas to improve. This will enable them increase the quality of their future submissions.
To use the supplier service search tool email the National Commercial and Procurement Hub at email@example.com
Extending your contract - new contract to be agreed
You can extend your contract by one year. Please make sure to check exit plans in your agreement.
When your contract ends - follow contract agreements
If you need a new contract because you can’t or don’t want to extend, you must re-evaluate your needs and the services on offer on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework.
If your requirements haven’t changed, it’s still worth checking the services remain the same on the framework that may be better value for money. You can then enter into a new contract but must keep records to prove that your assessment has been fair.
Contact the hub team if you have any questions about the framework or the buying process, for example, contacting a supplier from the framework.
Email the hub team at firstname.lastname@example.org
List of suppliers
There are 25 suppliers on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework (subject to contract and finance due diligence).
Smartpage is a secure, encrypted healthcare task management and messaging solution that facilitates direct communication and oversight of demand across a health organisation, real time.
The solution allows instant two-way messaging for symptoms, results, observations, notes, and images, with read receipts, and guaranteed delivery between all care team members.
Contact: Tom Scott Tom.Scott@Alcidion.com
Telephone: 07837 963 902
Telephone: 01749 685 238
Medicomms, created by Armour Communications and offered as a managed service in alliance with Nine23’s Platform Flex, benefits from the pedigree of years supplying governments and military organisations. Secure in its design, Medicomms offers alerts along with voice, group messaging with options for video, image collection and patient record integration.
Contact: Peter Jenkins, email@example.com
A safe communication platform that’s easy-to-use and cost effective. The NHS needs a safe and simple communication solution. For a digital clinic appointment between specialist and patient, a psychologist contacting clients, or simply a meeting with colleagues or external parties. Barrier would like to introduce you to ZIVVER.
Contact: Iain Slater, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 07484 268974
Telephone: 0141 356 0101
Want to share digital images like X-Rays as part of clinical chat? Do it in diagnostic quality using a CE marked medical device that protects your clinical users. Bleepa evolved from PACS and is certified to provide imaging at a suitable quality for clinical review. Bleepa, share the whole picture.
Telephone: 02081 267687
BT’s Secure Messaging powered by Medic Bleep is a clinical messaging solution enabling workforce collaboration and increased productivity through a secure, compliant real-time communication tool. Enabling your workforce to send and receive, text, images, files, initiate voice calls, create group chats and pass your on-call roll all within one application.
Telephone: 07530 022326
Website (demo video): https://vimeo.com/427666788/7ff0a4abb1
Cinapsis is interoperable with all NHS systems and revolutionises how clinicians remotely work together, maximising their efficiency to:
- Connect through 1:1 and group messaging/telephone/video/custom forms
- Incorporate specialist A&G into referral pathways
- Instantly share patient images/video/records
- Schedule referrals and manage patient lists
- Produce activity/outcome data
Contact: Owain Rhys Hughes, email@example.com
Mobile: 07979 390449
Dental Triage is a data driven medical / dental referrals and triage platform, designed by clinicians, that facilitates secure transfers of care and manages the entire episode of care optimally. This is an innovative clinical communication platform that facilitates a seamless, multi-disciplinary approach to care through a flexible, modular system.
Contact: Francis Clough, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 07769 677528
Dictate IT provides an enterprise web & mobile app platform that aggregates several key hospital communication functions: Digital dictation, speech recognition, video appointments, clinical messaging, and patient appointment reminders. The platform has bi-directional HL7 integration with PAS & EPRs, is cloud-based, and has AES 256 bit encryption.
Telephone: 020 3307 1500
DocComs, developed by RMJ Clinical Solutions Ltd, is the future of medical communications. DocComs is a secure, NHS governance aligned, GDPR compliant medical communications application that allows all medical professionals to discuss patients, contact each other quickly and easily through individual and group messaging, calls and push notifications.
Contact: Roseanna Jaggard, email@example.com
Telephone: 0203 290 0234
Engage Solutions Group Ltd
Secure, next gen, mobile first communications platform based on social media-style tooling for fast uptake with zero training. Includes personalised feed, messaging, image and video share, augmented reality capability, push alerts, contact directory and lots more. Typically deployed in within one month, scales effortlessly from 100 -100,000 users.
Contact: John Porter, Commercial Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0161 250 2180
Mobile: 07715 179364
Everbridge’s CareConverge enables NHS Trusts to coordinate all clinical and non-clinical staff cross multiple locations and schedules to respond to the needs of patients efficiently and effectively. 2-way communications can be sent via App, SMS, Email, Voice, Photo and Video to individuals or groups.
Contact: Iris Wickham email@example.com
Mobile: 07541 965949
Healthcent Ltd (trading as Signapps)
Signapps™ Care is a suite of mobile messenger and web applications that provide integrated, user-friendly communication channels for healthcare professionals to collaborate securely. Collaboration can be of a clinical nature and specific to a patient or generalized enabling teams and individuals to discuss administrative matters in real-time from any location.
Contact: Andrew Davies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 0782 377668
Mobile access to patients is critical. Achieve a comprehensive mobile approach with Voalte®. Go beyond secure messaging and voice using video to connect on a deeper level. Take advantage of industry-standard integrations to EPR, nurse call, and middleware for patient-centric alerting; access patient data including waveforms and vitals.
Contact: Anthony McInnes-Willard email@example.com
Mobile: 07775 792864
Telephone: 01530 411000
Hospify is a secure and compliant health data communication platform for everyone in health, both patient and clinician. Our free messaging app can be downloaded from the app stores; the team messaging platform (the Hospify Hub and web app) can be purchased by hospitals, surgeries, and other healthcare institutions.
Telephone: 020 3633 5775
Induction Healthcare Group
Induction is a set of mobile and web based digital tools that help healthcare professionals deliver better care more efficiently and effectively. The app supports over 140,000 clinicians with their workflow everyday - through clinical messaging, enhanced productivity & communications via hospital directories (bleeps/extensions), task management, and guidance.
Contact: Eamus Halpin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Calum Macleod, email@example.com
Telephone: 020 3771 7799
Intechnology provides instant communication solutions for use in NHS settings. This includes the ability to instantly talk, instantly message, video, image share, geo fence, location track and alert all from one device. The solution has over 150,000 users globally in more than 30 countries across Africa, South and North America and Europe.
Multitone offers both a messenger application and a mass messaging solution. These are designed to ensure that whatever your environment and specific communication needs, that Multitone can aid in ensuring safe and secure communications, getting to the right people first time, every time.
Contact: Peter Lomax, Director of UK Sales & Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01256 320292
Nervecentre’s Next Generation Electronic Patient Record – the first new Electronic Patient Record for the NHS in twenty years – exploits modern mobile technology to give clinical and operational teams in acute settings the real-time information they need to deliver safer, faster, high quality care.
Telephone: 0118 974 0128
Pathpoint clinical communication tools include SafeView and SafeAttach: send an encrypted one-time link in a SMS message to share secure photos (e.g. of wounds) and validated advice leaflets/videos, or a real-time video consultation. Use in conjunction with Pathpoint clinical workflow software for end-to-end patient care pathways.
Telephone: 020 3475 2955
Pando by Forward Clinical Ltd. was designed by and for NHS clinicians. Already used by 50,000+ NHS healthcare professionals, our app is proven to replace WhatsApp and pagers by instantly connecting teams. Collaborate via individual and group messaging, share patient information securely, and speed-up decision making.
Telephone: 03300 970 165
Pulse Health App
A fully end-to end encrypted iOS, Android, and Web Application. Containing full instant message functionality, secure image/file sharing, voice/video calls, NHSMail SSO including federated access, and a full NHS Directory.
Clients will access the Pulse Health Admin panel to administer/manage accounts, broadcast to users, and view useful statistics.
Contact: Craig Spencer, email@example.com
Mobile: 07534 610 616
Contact: Ahmad Navid, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 07832 353839
Softcat Plc (in partnership with Commontime)
Safe, Secure & Simple Communication. CommonTime, a secure, integrated, and real-time application, developed with a number of NHS Trusts to empower healthcare users with accurate and responsive information at the point of care. Pager-replacement functionality and patient-based clinical messaging allows clinicians to be alerted to and instantly respond to any situation.
Contact: Charles Harrison, PSITQ@softcat.com
Telephone: 0161 272 5766
Southern Communications Corporate Solutions
Rainbow for Healthcare connects your entire healthcare ecosystem to an innovative solution with communication, collaboration, and connectivity at the heart of the technology. The system interconnects your facilities, delivers robust health data protection, and optimises your business processes. Chatbot, artificial intelligence, location-based and asset tracking services allow for proactive services.
Telephone: 020 3603 0505
System C Healthcare Ltd
CareFlow Connect is a secure and mobile clinical communications and collaboration system designed to facilitate faster and safer care co-ordination for clinical teams within a hospital and across a care community. Its rich functionality incorporates patient identified messaging, real-time event notifications, electronic handover, task management and referral conversations.
Telephone: 01622 691 616
For pricing please contact the National Commercial and Procurement Hub at email@example.com
The National Commercial and Procurement Hub is a service run by CSU and can help you with the following procurement needs:
- Early market engagement
- SME supplier engagement programmes
- Implementing social value in tenders including procurement for growth
- Tender management including for the following types of tenders: open, restricted, competitive dialogue, negotiated, and framework call-offs
- Contracts renegotiations
- Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) programmes including service turnaround
We offer our services on a flexible person per hour, either remotely or on-site.
Email the team at: