ExCeL London |  24 - 25 April 2024

12 Apr 2024

NHS Shared Business Services launches digital advisory framework

NHS Shared Business Services launches digital advisory framework

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched its Digital Health Advisory Services Framework agreement. It represents a one-of-a-kind framework agreement, intended to augment the digital, data and technology skills and capabilities of the NHS’ workforce and provide the NHS and social care with ways of tackling digital challenges in their organisation.

The NHS Shared Business Services Digital Health Advisory Services Framework agreement was developed in collaboration with NHS England’s Transformation Directorate. The framework consists of 40 vetted consultancy services that will be able to provide a range of supportive measures to the sector. These providers all specialise in digital healthcare, with half of them being SMEs.

The agreement provides a range of digital advisory services across four lots: Specialist Clinical and Healthcare Digital Consultancy; Clinical and Digital Health Delivery and Augmentation; Clinical Data Science and Population Health Analytics; and Digital Skills in Healthcare. The two-year framework has two potential 12-month extensions.

As the NHS experiences ever-more significant technological adoption, it is vital for the workforce to have the necessary skills to implement and operate digital transformation projects – not only for effectively delivering ROI but also to ensure patient safety and care is not compromised.

Research from Health Education England’s digital readiness programme found that the NHS needs a further 32,000 DDaT professionals in the lead up to 2030 if it’s to fulfil the digital transformation plans set out by government.

While the NHS figures out a way to recruit and retain the large number of DDaT staff required, it needs a short-term solution and investment in a digital workforce, which is where the framework comes in.

In order to fulfill the digital transformation goals outlined by the government, the NHS must address a pressing need for an additional 32,000 DDaT professionals by 2030, as highlighted in research from Health Education England's digital readiness program. As the NHS works to recruit and retain this substantial workforce, there is an urgent requirement for short-term solutions and investments in digital talent development. This is where the framework steps in, serving as a vital tool in bridging the current gap.

David Holbrook, senior category manager – digital workforce and IT transformation at NHS Shared Business Services, said: “The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan states that harnessing the opportunities presented by digital and technological innovations requires NHS staff to continue to build digital skills and capabilities.”

“Workforce is one of the most cited challenges facing the NHS and the purpose of our framework agreement is to help accelerate successful digital adoption by providing immediate access to the tools, expertise and digital skills the NHS needs and to support it bridge the gap along its journey to transformation.”

All NHS and public sector organisations across the United Kingdom can access the framework for free, including GP practices, hospitals, emergency services and health centres.

You can find out more here: https://www.sbs.nhs.uk/services/framework-agreements/digital-health-advisory/

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