wildly successful or… it stifled innovation in the market; landed organisations with higher prices than they could have negotiated for themselves; enabled less-than-transparent procurement decisions, and kept smaller suppliers out of the market unless they could come to an arrangement with one that was already accepted onto the NFA.
Buying Solutions is now at the stage of placing its Contract Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) for bids from suppliers to be included in the Framework Agreement for two years, with possible extension to four. Suppliers must act now or risk being locked out of the UK market.
For those of us who are not suppliers, the OJEU advertisement provides a snapshot of the state of telecare and telehealth (and ‘telecoaching’ – wider eHealth services?) development as far as it has gone in the UK in 2010. So it rewards the five minutes it takes to read it.
Buying Solutions has divided the market into six parts and has produced lists of elements within each part. They are:
- Telecare products
- Telecare services
- Telehealth products
- Telehealth services
- Telecoaching Products and Services
- Managed Services [includes consultancy services]
This agreement may still favour the large suppliers over the small and reinforce the idea that organisations can skip any transparent selection procedure in their procurements. However, by widening the scope and increasing the expected number of suppliers in each section, perhaps the agreement will restrict the potential market less than the previous one.