NHS picks suppliers for £200m voice recognition and digital dictation framework

A total of 12 firms feature across four lots on deal that runs for an initial term of two years

Credit: Dmitriy/Pixabay

A dozen suppliers have been chosen for a £200m framework agreement through which NHS bodies will be able to buy voice-recognition technology and digital dictation systems.

The arrangement is split into four lots, the first of which is intended to provide buyers with a catalogue of individual products and services. This will include recording devices, peripherals, and associated IT hardware and software, as associated maintenance and consultancy services. With anticipated spending of £75m over the framework’s initial two-year term, this lot has the estimated highest value of the four.

Lot two, which is valued at £65m, features suppliers that can offer “a complete digital dictation solution”, which can be delivered by NHS organisations in-house or via an outsourcing agreement. 

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The third lot covers “outsourced transcription services which may have to integrate with the existing systems or work stand-alone/manually”, according to the procurement documents. About £35m is expected to be spent via this section of the agreement.

The fourth and final portion of the deal – which is value at £23m – will allow NHS bodies to work with providers delivering an overarching managed service encompassing both the digital dictation and transcription services feature in the second and third lots, as well as “other innovations [such as an] outsourced mailing solution”.

The framework contract came into effect at the start of this week and runs until 22 January 2025.  The arrangement was awarded by the NHS Commercial Solutions procurement unit. All NHS bodies throughout the UK can buy through the agreement, which is also open for use by local authorities, social enterprises, and other public-services providers.

A total of 12 different suppliers – detailed below – feature across the agreement’s four lots

  • BigHand (all four lots)
  • Crescendo Systems (lots 1 and 2)
  • DICT8 (all four lots)
  • Dictate IT (all four lots)
  • EpiQ (lot 3)
  • G2 Speech (all four lots)
  • Lexacom (lots 1,2 and 3)
  • Nuance Communications (lot 1)
  • OKS International (lot 3)
  • Prescribe Digital (all four lots)
  • ScribeTECH (all four lots)
  • T-Pro (all four lots)


Sam Trendall

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