Buying a solution

Public sector organisations must follow the Call-Off Invitation to Tender (Call-Off ITT) process set out below to buy a digital care record solution from the assured solutions list. This process allows assured suppliers to bid to supply your solution, if they choose to. 

Independent organisations can also follow this process to select a solution from the assured solutions list, but do not need to. You can use the assured solutions decision tool to help you find a solution that meets your needs. 

We recommend that independent organisations ask for at least three quotes or bids from suppliers to compare before making a decision.

The ordering process for public sector organisations

This process applies to public sector organisations, such as NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups. For a full list , see section 7.2 on page 7 of the DPS Framework Agreement. 

You must follow the process set out in Schedule 5 (page 73) of the DPS Framework Agreement. This involves preparing a ‘Call-Off ITT’ (Invitation to Tender), made up of: 

  • your statement of requirements – stating what exactly you need from the supplier (see guidance on writing a specification
  • the competition process, including timescales for when suppliers need to submit bids by and when you will make a decision
  • the award criteria  you’ll use to evaluate bids
  • the basis on which you will evaluate the price offered by suppliers 
  • any further assessment you will carry out with suppliers 

Once you have completed your Call-Off ITT, you need to:

  1. Download the Dynamic purchasing system (DPS) template ordering form (once complete and signed, this will form your contract with your chosen supplier, alongside the DPS Terms and Conditions).
  2. Add any additional terms and conditions you want to include in the DPS Framework Terms and Conditions to the ‘Extra Key Provisions’ section of the order form.
  3. Email and ask for a call-off order reference number so that you can fill in this field on the order form.
  4. Invite bids from all assured solutions suppliers that meet your minimum requirements - specify a time limit for submitting a bid (you must allow at least 10 days, but can allow more).
  5. Evaluate the bids you receive - you must evaluate the bids according to the award criteria you set out in your documents, and keep records of your evaluation and moderation process.  
  6. Select a successful bid based on the highest scoring bidder - provide feedback to both successful and unsuccessful bidders to explain how you made your decision. 
  7. Update the DPS template order form with your chosen supplier’s information and share with all parties to sign (if you are a public sector organisation, your contract must be signed by a recognised legal contracting authority - for an Integrated Care System (ICS) or sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) this could be a lead CCG with associate CCGs). 
  8. Report your contract award to NHS England via your ICS quarterly report. 

Evaluating prices

Most suppliers will provide a pricing estimate based on a minimum term commitment (for example, one year), including a monthly charge and one-off costs for extras, such as training. 

The monthly charge may be based on your number of:

  • staff
  • core system users 
  • clients or bed capacity 

There may be additional costs that the supplier has not included, such as the need to buy new hardware or additional customisation, set-up and training costs. 

You may be able to negotiate the price with the supplier during the buying process. 

The assured solutions listings include information on pricing.