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Supporting informed NHS customers for information technology

The Department of Health announced a number of initiatives on 08 November 2011 to support the NHS as an informed customer for IT, ensuring that local decision-making about procuring new systems delivers value for money for patients.

These include:

Joint plan with Intellect

Intellect, the trade organisation for IT suppliers, is actively working with the Department of Health to develop the above initiatives, as part a joint plan to develop a healthy and vibrant market, and to build confidence in the wider use of IT as benefitting patient care.

The first full version of the joint plan (PDF, 75.3kB) has now been published, which has been updated to incorporate comments received from interested parties.

Joint initiative with eHealth Insider

A joint initiative has been launched with eHealth Insider (eHI) which will give NHS local commissioners and trusts free access to information on the systems and suppliers installed across the NHS, providing detailed insight into the systems options available to them, applicable standards and the feedback of real users.  Accessible via the eHI website, the information will provide the opportunity for NHS trusts to give their feedback on suppliers in relation to provision of systems to support patient care.

eHI Intelligence reports will now include the following:

  • Details of key clinical and administrative systems used within all trusts and PCTs
  • Details of system conformance against NHS standards as published by the Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (www.isb.nhs.uk/step)
  • Details of PC, laptop, notebook and smartphone device quantities in use by individual NHS organisations
  • A facility to allow users to rate the systems and suppliers that they use.

Government Procurement Service

Work is underway with the Government Procurement Service on a pan-government supplier information database (SID4GOV), which will be a useful reference point for those involved in procuring and evaluating system suppliers.