£250M savings opportunity for NHS and wider public sector after launch of new Digital Hardware Framework
26 March 2021
The Digital Workplace: Hardware (Link 3) Framework - developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) in partnership with NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) - offers consumer-oriented technologies across a range of end-user IT Hardware products and services from 19 carefully-selected suppliers, ranging from specialist SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to global manufacturers.
The framework, which is due to run until the end of February 2023 (with the option to extend to 2025), has an estimated value of around £1bn. With average indicative savings of 25% compared to buying direct from a supplier at list price, the potential cost saving for the public sector is expected to be up to £250m.
Replacing the popular and well-established Link 2: IT Hardware framework, the new Digital Workplace: Hardware agreement provides public bodies, such as NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), universities, emergency services and local authorities, with a simple and compliant route to market for the most frequently required end-user client devices.
The new streamlined agreement is free-to-access and includes everything from desktop PCs, laptops/notebook devices, mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables), specialist healthcare related IT hardware (clinical displays, infection control keyboards, mobile carts), printers/scanners, and a one-stop-shop for peripheral items or bundled requirements.
The framework also provides organisations with the option to utilise value-added services, for example, 'Device as a Service' (DVaaS) and deployment services, as well as obtain the latest sustainable products or new-to-market innovations, such as virtual reality headsets used in medical diagnosis. DVaaS is an innovative, flexible and transparent alternative to the traditional capital equipment purchase model, whereby customers can source IT and associated devices at a finite cost per device per month over a desired term.
Phil Davies, Director of Procurement at NHS SBS, said:
"This new framework has been developed to build on the success of our previous Link: 2 IT Hardware framework agreement, which was very well used by the NHS and wider public sector, and has been critical to many organisations as they have responded to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
"The new framework provides ease and peace of mind for organisations looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to meet their end user device needs.
"In 2020, much of the country moved to remote working with huge success. The launch of the Digital Workplace: Hardware framework means the public sector can continue to access technologies that are pivotal to supporting productivity through flexible and innovative ways of working.
"The framework has been carefully-negotiated to ensure it offers the latest devices with highly competitive public sector pricing. With a comprehensive procurement exercise already undertaken, NHS and other public sector organisations can save valuable time and resource by directly awarding or carrying out mini-competitions as required."
The Digital Workplace: Hardware Framework is fully PCR 2015 compliant and was advertised in the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union). All 19 awarded suppliers meet the necessary standards, including Cyber Essentials and ISO Quality Management. The agreement permits spot buying, mini-competitions and provides best value pricing and negotiated terms.
Public bodies can access the framework at no cost to purchase a wide variety of end-user devices and associated services, with no minimum or maximum order value restrictions.
The new Digital Workplace: Hardware framework is part of a growing portfolio of digital and IT agreements managed by NHS SBS, including Digital Workplace Solutions, Cyber Security Services, Cloud Solutions, Digital Dictation, Speech Recognition and Outsourced Transcription and Healthcare Clinical Information Systems.