Bids invited for £500m HSCN dynamic purchasing system
November launch scheduled for platform allowing buyers to purchase connectivity services for incoming NHS network
Suppliers on the DPS will provide healthcare customers with a range of connectivity options Credit: PA
The government is inviting suppliers to bid for a place on a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) that will launch next month to provide public sector buyers with access to the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).
The Crown Commercial Service has issued a contract notice inviting bidders to stake their claim for a place on the DPS, which could last as long as six and a half years and has an estimated value of £500m. Potential suppliers have until 13 November to submit bids if they wish to gain a place on the deal ahead of its launch – which is currently estimated to take place on 24 November.
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But, unlike a framework agreement, a DPS allows for new suppliers to be added over the life of the contract. The DPS model is also not limited to a four-year maximum duration.
Public sector bodies will be able to use the DPS to procure a range of connectivity services to allow them to access HSCN. These include both managed and unmanaged connections, covering terrestrial, wireless, and satellite technology and a variety of flexible bandwidth options. In addition, “supplementary components” of the DPS could include cloud services and consultancy.
Buyers will be able to issue calls for bids for individual contracts via an online tendering platform and can also filter potential suppliers by whether or not their services are compliant with the standards set by the Public Services Network developed by the Government Digital Service.
HCSN is the new NHS-created network to which care providers can connect to obtain and share information. Healthcare organisations will be able to procure connectivity services either in isolation or working with peers.
HSCN went live earlier this year and replaces the outgoing N3 network, which has been in operation for 13 years.
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