- NHS England asks private providers to apply to a new procurement framework worth up to £10bn
- Framework represents a key element of the NHS’ plans to cope with coronavirus over winter
Private providers have been asked to apply to a new procurement framework worth up to £10bn, from which NHS organisations will purchase additional capacity for up to four years.
The framework represents a key element of the NHS England’s plans to cope with coronavirus over winter, by outsourcing significant amounts of routine activity to independent hospitals.
Procurement frameworks effectively create a list of suppliers which have demonstrated they can meet certain criteria, and can then be called upon to deliver services when required.
NHS England will decide which suppliers qualify to be on the framework, from which local trusts and health systems can then commission services.
This replaces the system that has been in place since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, in which NHSE has block booked private capacity across the country.
Last month, a guidance document published by NHSE said: “Our intention is to move away from a national capacity contract arrangement to local commissioning for all acute independent sector services. A national call-off framework is being procured to support systems to contract for additional independent sector capacity and we expect it to be used for all activity funding by the system envelopes.”
The framework is intended to run from November 2020 to November 2024.
Date: 15 October 2020