Doctor using a large desktop PC

New £1bn digital hardware framework launched for NHS

NHS and wider public sector organisations are set to benefit from the launch of a new cost-effective IT hardware procurement framework, with an estimated value of up to £1bn.

Developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), in partnership with NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC), the new Digital Workplace: Hardware (Link 3) Framework will offer consumer-oriented technologies across a range of end-user IT hardware products and services.

The framework agreement is due to run until the end of February 2023, with an option for a further two-year extension.

Set up to provide NHS and public sector organisations the opportunity to purchase cost-effective IT hardware solutions with greater ease, the framework is expected to deliver average indicative savings of around 25% compared to buying direct from a supplier at list price - offering a potential cost saving of up to £250m.

There is a total of 19 carefully-vetted suppliers, ranging from specialist SME providers through to global manufacturers, included on the framework.

The new framework agreement will replace the popular and well-established Link 2: IT Hardware framework produced by NHS SBS and will provide 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.

Free to access, the new streamlined agreement includes options for most IT hardware these organisations will need, including 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.

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.”

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