A new procurement framework is expected to save the public purse more than £25 million over the next four years, by providing an easy, cost-effective and legally-compliant means of accessing a wide range of consultancy expertise.
The ‘Consult 18: Multidisciplinary Consultancy Services’ framework, launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), is free to use for any public sector organisation and offers cost savings of around 10 per cent compared with purchasing direct from a supplier.
The agreement is the first of its kind to include both health-specific and more general lots – benefitting both NHS and wider public sector organisations that require expert consultancy across a number of professional services.
With upwards of £250 million expected to be spent via the framework by 2022, the savings across the public sector are expected to be in excess of £25 million.
The agreement was developed to support the diverse business and transformation needs of NHS bodies, covering areas like governance and leadership, business case development and redesigning services, whilst also helping them access specialist advice in areas such as healthcare innovation and research.
Organisations from across the public sector can also use the framework to purchase consultancy around IT, finance, HR, education, transport and logistics.
The comprehensive mix of suppliers awarded on the framework includes both SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and well-established national providers, split by specialism, geographical region and project value band.
Any public sector organisation can use the agreement to directly award a contract to an approved supplier – saving time and money on complex procurement processes – or run mini-competitions to drive further competitive pricing. It can also be used to access a range of pricing options and discount structures, settlements and volume spend rebates.
Phil Davies, NHS SBS Director of Procurement, said: “Understandably, many NHS and public sector bodies do not always have the in-house skills, experience or resource needed for time-consuming and complex projects. Therefore, the requirement to engage specialist consultants, with unique expertise in a particular field, can be an essential part of guaranteeing success.
“Our aim is to ensure that when public organisations need external support, they can access high-quality services in a way that saves them significant time and money. Those awarded a place on this brand new framework have been evaluated against a number of criteria and are considered to provide best value to the NHS and wider public sector.”