New procurement framework helps phase out archaic pagers

Multi-million-pound procurement channel to rid NHS of pagers by 2021

Outdated pager technology is still routinely in use in NHS trusts

Plans to phase out the use of pagers within the NHS gathered pace this week with the announcement of a new procurement framework for clinical communications.

The multi-million pound framework, which will run from 3 August this year until 3 August 2022, aims to support NHS organisations with dedicated clinical-facing communication and tasks management tools to accelerate the adoption of proven technologies and to phase out pagers by the end of 2021.

It has been designed to provide a compliant and convenient route to market for all NHS organisations.

It’s essential that the phasing out of pagers is coupled with the inauguration of highly-effective, fit-for-purpose digital alternatives

And it allows clinicians to access a wide range of communication tools all under one procurement agreement.

Participating organisations have the freedom and flexibility to make a direct award or undertake a mini competition to meet the bespoke requirement of each customer.

The 25 suppliers on the framework have been assessed to ensure they meet all legislative requirements; therefore no formal tendering is required, saving valuable time and money in the procurement process.

The list includes large national companies, but also a number of regional SMEs, and all can showcase their products via the framework, helping buyers to make informed local decisions.

The successful suppliers are: Alcidion, Armour Communications, Barrier Networks, Bleepa, BT, Cinapsis SmartReferrals, Dental Triage, Dictate IT, Engage Solutions Group, Everbridge, Healthcent (Signapps Care), Hillrom, Hospify, Induction Healthcare Group, Intechnology, Multitone Electronics, Nervecentre, NTT, Open Medical, Pando, Pulse Health, RMJ Clinical Solution, Softcat, Southern Communications Corporate Solutions, and System C Healthcare.

Commenting on its inclusion, Philip Mundy, co-founder and co-chief eexecutive at Pando Health, told BBH: “We’re delighted to announce our involvement in the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework.

“Pando is already being used by over 60,000 NHS healthcare professionals - helping them to consign archaic pagers, faxes and landlines to history.

“Through technology, we can connect teams, speed up decision making, and create better ways of getting care to patients.

Healthcare providers are seizing new digital technologies to improve patient outcomes and this framework will provide the structure, data security and impetus to scale this across the NHS

“It’s therefore fantastic to see NHSX turbo-charging this agenda and embracing secure, fit-for-purpose technology that will make a genuine difference to the lives of thousands of clinicians.”

Dr Owain Rhys Hughes, chief executive and founder of Cinapsis, added: “The launch of this framework marks a significant step in the modernisation of the NHS’s internal clinical communications.

“It’s essential that the phasing out of pagers is coupled with the inauguration of highly-effective, fit-for-purpose digital alternatives.

“We are delighted that Cinapsis has been included as one of the recommended solution providers, and that we will be playing a key part in the future of NHS service provision.

“Healthcare providers are seizing new digital technologies to improve patient outcomes and this framework will provide the structure, data security and impetus to scale this across the NHS.”

The framework covers a range of tools including secure messaging, image sharing, staff directory, compliance, GDPR and UK data protection, training materials, and customer support.

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