London NHS trusts launch major framework for health and social care apps

Collective of trusts and CCGs seeks programs across five core health areas

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NHS organisations across London have launched a dynamic purchasing system for providers of apps that address a range of health conditions. 

The London Procurement Partnership (LPP) – which brings together 31 NHS trusts and 15 clinical commissioning groups across the capital and the surrounding area – is launching a DPS for the provision of apps in five categories: child health; diabetes and hormones; heart and blood vessels; mental health; and pregnancy.

Each of these areas is split into various sub-categories.

In the child health section, LPP is seeking providers of apps that address or help with conditions such as dyslexia, autistic spectrum disorders, downs syndrome, and bed-wetting.

In the category of diabetes, apps are being sought across 13 separate areas, including the menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome, while the heart and blood vessels lot is looking for applications addressing conditions such as varicose veins, angina, and high blood pressure.

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The mental health segment of the DPS is interested in apps specialised in one of 15 areas, including depression, phobias, self harm, addiction, and panic attacks. The pregnancy lot will feature programs targeted at areas such as morning sickness, fertility, and diet and lifestyle.

Applications for a place on the procurement vehicle are now open, with the DPS expected to go live sometime next month. LPP claims the contract will offer tech firms “a streamlined and compliant route to market”.

To earn a spot, applications will have to pass an assessment by the Organisation for the Review of Health and Care Apps. This review will examine 260 different aspects of each product. 

The DPS – which, unlike a traditional framework, can add suppliers and products over the course of its lifespan – will run for an initial term of two years. After this LPP will have the option of extending it by one year at a time “on a rolling basis”.

According to the contract notice, each of the five categories comes with a theoretical value of £3bn, although it seems unlikely that spending will reach anywhere near that level.

Steve Dunkerley, director of LPP’s clinical digital solutions team, said: “This programme aims to deliver cost-effective, safe and effective apps into public sector services across the UK. The clinical digital solutions team here at NHS LPP are constantly seeking digital solutions that better respond to NHS needs”.

The launch of the apps framework comes after LPP published a contract notice for a £600m four-year framework covering the provision of IT hardware, software, consultancy, and network infrastructure.


Sam Trendall

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