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Buying Better

Posted on 01 Mar, 2017

By Caroline Hardwick, Health & Social Care Lead, Inprova

If you are a commissioner of TEC services we want to hear from you. What is your current approach to procuring telecare and telehealth? How are you purchasing TEC services to re-design the delivery of health and social care services? What is your experience of the purchasing process from developing a specification right through to contract management?

If you supply TEC services to local authorities, housing associations or hospitals, we also want to hear your side. What’s it like bidding for TEC work? If you are awarded a contract, how are you, as a supplier, managed? What parts of the commissioning process could be improved?

These are just some of the questions I’ll be asking TSA members over the next few months. In October last year TSA and procurement specialist Inprova launched a new partnership which is helping local authorities, housing associations, CCGs and hospitals to improve how they commission and provide TEC services.

I know the health and care commissioning world well. For 14 years I was a commissioner in the NHS, procuring primary, acute and community services. I also worked on service re-design, having successfully taken costly services out of hospital and into primary and community settings. And as an operational manager for a health service, I managed referrals for 230,000 patients.

My task now is to understand what you, as TSA members, want from this procurement partnership. I’ve been meeting with CCGS and local authorities to discuss how they are commissioning TEC. I spent a day in a telehealth centre and another day in an emergency response centre. I’ve been meeting suppliers to find out what they are offering the sector and I’m working with NHS England to better understand and open up the route to market for TEC procurement.  

I’ve also been discussing Sustainability and Transformation Plans – local plans developed by the NHS and local councils that set out how health and care will be improved across 44 areas, covering the whole of England. STPs bring together health, social care, ambulance services and some housing and I’m hoping to work with TSA members to ensure they are aware of how these plans relate to commissioning in their local area.

Our main goal is to develop a range of valuable procurement services for TSA members which will be closely aligned to current commissioning standards.

We’ll offer TSA members support with designing contracts, conducting tenders, managing suppliers and analysing spend.

We’ll also offer consultancy support, helping commissioners to assess the effectiveness of their TEC services and working with local authorities and CCGs to re-design health and care services.

We’ve launched a number of compliant framework agreements allowing TSA members to buy a wide range of TEC and non-TEC goods and services.

But this is only the start of the journey. To make the next stage a reality I need to hear from you. What are your experiences of TEC commissioning and procurement and what help do you want from TSA’s partnership with Inprova?

Get in touch: chardwick@inprovagroup.com

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