Another UK telecare and telehealth framework agreement planned – from Jan 2013

The GPS Telecare, Telehealth and Telecoaching framework agreement is still current and, despite all the well-known problems with these agreements that Telecare Aware has highlighted over the years, someone else is planning another! The Yorkshire-based organisation YPOThe Lincolnshire-based Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) – thanks to update in comments – is about to tread where angels dare not. Information about this initiative is very hard to find on the ESPO website but since this item was posted we have been provided in the comments with links to the ‘Prior Infomation Notice’.

Still the questions remain: Why? And why now? Is it an admission that the current agreement is not fit for purpose? Perhaps one of the commenters has put his finger on it… “something that has been designed to allow DALLAS companies to overcome the issues of not being able to get on the GPS/FA”.

Also see the comments for information on consultation events. Heads-up thanks to a sharp-eyed Telecare Aware reader.

11 thoughts on “Another UK telecare and telehealth framework agreement planned – from Jan 2013

  1. It’s actually ESPO who are leading on this procurement on behalf of the Pro5 group of collaborative procurement hubs. They issued PIN a few weeks ago in the European Journal seeking to engage with the market to set a strategy for this procurement. This is part of a wider market consultation having already engaged with DH and 3ML stakeholder groups.

  2. Thanks for the additional info, Graham.

    I looked around the ESPO (Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation) site ([url][/url]) but, as it does not have a search function I was unable to locate [i]anything[/i] about this proposed framework.

    If they have consulted DH and the 3ML group, they are guaranteed to hear only what they want to hear.

  3. See following link to PIN

    We understand consultation is at a very early stage. What we at ADi are keen to do is to ensure that whatever is developed takes account of the new service models emerging from dallas.

    Unless any new framework supports and enables the future procurement of such models then a major opportunity that dallas brings to this market will have been missed.

  4. Graham has already provided some clarity. The procurement exercise is led by ESPO who have also issued a PIN and further information is available as per link below:

    The stakeholder exercise on 26th November as detailed in earlier posts* is for social care commissioners, procurement professionals who are responsible for commissioning this service for the Authority and is being held at YPO. This is part of number of other consultation exercises taking place across the UK. There is consultation exercise for suppliers taking place on 7th Nov at ESPO but you need to liaise directly with ESPO as per information available in the link provided above.

    [i]*[Reference removed in update, but the meeting’s self-invitation form is here: [url],10EEF,7WMOV4,32V87,1[/url] Ed. Steve][/i]

  5. Have I read between the lines correctly here? Is the ESPO tendering work something that has been designed to allow DALLAS companies to overcome the issues of not being able to get on the GPS/FA???

  6. I hope that I’m wrong but it looks as if this organisation wants to relegate telecare and telehealth to a commodity that can be neatly boxed up in such a way that apples can be compared to pears on the basis of price, so that collectively the whole of a region can be persuaded to buy pears in future so that they can get a discount.
    If generalists are involved in setting up the specifications, and there is no vision of how things will evolve in the digital world of tomorrow, it seems that it can only benefit large companies who can afford to offer big discounts to enable them to get rid of their old stock.
    This approach (and perhaps procurement frameworks of this type more generally) is not agile and does not reflect the needs of a population that can access information on new products quickly and easily using Internet browsers. I don’t believe that it fits the bill for dallas communities either – because they must surely appreciate that one size does not fit all. What people need is informed choice, and then a logistics approach of Amazon that can delivery them the product in the post next day. The days of framework agreements are over!

  7. Alastair, there are no lines to read between. We are merely seeking to inform this procurement exercise of what is emerging from dallas. Also not sure what you mean by ‘dallas’ companies as whilst yes dallas has attracted many new entrants seeking to bring new innovation to this market – a core objective of the dallas process achieved – many are what could be called ‘traditional’ companies of all sizes who are already on the GPS/FA but maybe as a consquence of that see its limitations at first hand.

    Jo, if you look at the current GPS/FA you will see that it is already commoditised as you describe. Again what we are seeking to do through informing the process is to try to work out how, what you term the ‘digital world of tomorrow’ which is emerging from dallas, can be enabled and supported within the procurement regulations be it through the establishing of Frameworks or not…. after all even Amazon have Framework agreements with their suppliers!

  8. [b]A framework is a framework – it fixes things in an agreed position for an agreed period of time.[/b]

    Regardless of how flexible we try to be when agreeing the framework tender, technology changes more quickly than the British weather forecast – how do we move forward whilst fettered to the past of last week’s thunderstorm?

    Our customers should not be aware of our business systems and processes – they should feel they are at the centre of what is being prescribed for them; the last thing they expect to hear is “you cannot have that because it is not on the Framework”.

    As for the Scottish framework – please ask yourself the question “why is a previously unknown supplier on that framework providing products exclusively from another of the framework suppliers but at an enhanced price?” That wasn’t one of the criteria that the social care commissioners required – there was considerable interest in attracting the smaller, more innovative supplier.

    And where are all the smaller, innovative suppliers in Scotland on the list? Answer – they are not there.

    I understand that the the local authority policy in Scotland is to abide by a Scotland Excel Framework if it exists. Does the framework give us a financial benefit? does the framework give us the best choices of technology solutions? Does either matter if we can only choose from a tickbox list?

  9. All I can say is if the current ‘system’ doesn’t work for any stakeholder then get involved in this market engagement and lets see how we can create something that will work!

  10. As ESPO – i.e. the originators of the PIN (2012-S 193-317548) which prompted the framework debate – perhaps we should try and clarify what it is we are actually doing, and why. We are running a consultation process in which we hope to engage with commissioners from both social care and health, and with all sectors of the supply industry. And the reason we are doing this?

    Because we readily acknowledge that frameworks are not necessarily always the answer, but if suitably set up they can immensely streamline the procurement process. The goal must be to secure the procedural benefits of a framework, whilst not letting the public procurement rules and process be an impediment to commissioners getting the best solutions.

    It is true we have spoken with 3ML and DH as part of our consultation, but the point of the PIN was to attract a wider audience, especially amongst suppliers, and provide an opportunity for us to hear their views. We are also in dialogue with the Government Procurement Service, whom we know are reviewing their own existing framework.

    The points made by other contributors about frameworks – that they can be inflexible, unable to evolve, exclude innovative new suppliers, and so on – are valid ones, and they are exactly the issues that we believe we need to address if any new framework is to be truly effective. We do not yet know if this will even be possible, but that’s why we genuinely need to have this dialogue.

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