Expansion and awareness of the technology enabled care market since COVID-19, with corresponding demand for its products and services, means improved channels and routes to market. The ESPO framework, known as the natural hunting ground for local authority commissioners, has recently launched a TEC-specific Products and Services framework 203-21 and cites TEC Services Association (TSA) and the Quality Standards Framework as a key element in its policy for TEC.
The framework seeks to support the TEC approach to service delivery and an outcomes-based approach to commissioning, by offering a catalogue of goods and services which are available for direct call off for straight forward requirements, together with a further competition option for procuring outsourced models of any size and complexity.
Local authority, NHS, care and housing associations, as well as other public sector organisations can access services via this framework and is geared towards integrated care arrangements between local authority and the NHS.
The advantage of using frameworks is the assurance that the pre-approval process means all suppliers have committed to comply with sector best practice, and have demonstrated they have knowledge and relevant experience in the TEC sector.
Setting the Standards
When creating Framework 203-21, ESPO was mindful that to really understand the sector and not just the technology, one of the key elements of the framework is that suppliers must deliver and supply their goods and services in line with industry best practice, as set out in the TSA Quality Standards Framework (QSF) - standards that have been determined by commissioners and suppliers working together.
Jane Blois, ESPO Category Manager explains: "We wanted it to be far more than simply a collection of generic technology providers. We decided to link our requirement to those developed by the sector’s principal standards body. We want any commissioner approaching us to know that all our technology enabled care suppliers are contractually bound to deliver their products and services in line with not only best practice in the industry but also quality assurance, and the Quality Standards Framework being UKAS accredited gives that robustness. The nature of technology enabled care is to keep people safe, so for us this was a given.“
At TSA, we are delighted to bring that assurance to the ESPO framework for the sake of quality and continuous improvement for TEC organisations, but ultimately for the safety of the service user and ongoing development of the sector as a whole.