16 Jul 2020
Procuring health and care apps through the Dynamic Purchasing System
Digital self-management resources such as apps have played a vital role in supporting patients throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As the response to the pandemic continues, NHS London Procurement Partnership (NHS LPP) is offering support to procure safe, secure apps through its Health and Social Care Apps Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).
Developed in partnership with ORCHA, NHS LPP’s DPS allows NHS organisations to rapidly procure quality assured digital health solutions at scale. This partnership ensures that suppliers through the DPS comply with strict and rigid rules around patient safety and data standards, meeting the need for an easy to access, safe and compliant route through which to procure health and social care applications to benefit patients, clinicians and non-clinical staff.
For health services wanting to procure a new app for their patients, the DPS offers a shortlist of suppliers whose apps have been pre-assessed for security, clinical merit, patient accessibility, and patient safety. All apps that apply for the DPS undergo an assessment by ORCHA, which informs which suppliers are awarded a place by NHS LPP on the DPS.
ORCHA carries out reviews of thousands of apps across all health and care conditions. The ORCHA Review process scores apps according to key assessment criteria relating to Clinical Assurance, Data Privacy and User Experience. Full details on the ORCHA Review can be found here.
ORCHA’s ability to have digital products reviewed quickly, combined with the thorough process for digital solutions to qualify for the DPS, enables a streamlined and compliant route to market for safe and efficient mHealth apps and services. The DPS provides NHS organisations with a trusted, searchable, one-stop-shop for digital health solutions.
NHS England uses the DPS to procure MyType1Diabetes app
The NHS LPP DPS has recently been used by NHS England to procure the new MyType1Diabetes app, now available to patients across England to help them manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic. The app includes videos and eLearning courses, to help people better understand their condition and increase their confidence in managing it.
Adults with type 1 diabetes can access the app directly by going to myType1diabetes.nhs.uk
New health categories added to the procurement framework
As of Thursday 16th July 2020, thirteen new, condition-specific categories have been added to NHS LPP’s Dynamic Purchasing System:
Category 13 – Blood
Category 14 – Dental
Category 15 – Ear / Nose / Throat / Mouth
Category 16 – Education
Category 17 – Eyes
Category 18 – First Aid
Category 19 – Gastrointestinal
Category 20 – Kidney / Genito-Urinary
Category 21 – Men’s Health
Category 22 – Sexual Health
Category 23 – Skin
Category 24 – Tropical Diseases
Category 25 – Woman’s Health
COVID-19 specific categories, developed in partnership with ORCHA, have also been recently added to the DPS to help with the NHS’s response to the pandemic:
These categories provide further COVID-19 solutions for the NHS to procure, at a time when digital health has never been more important.
As ORCHA broadens the scope of its Review process, web-based apps are now also included on the DPS, in additional to iOS and Android mobile device apps.
How to procure apps through the DPS
NHS organisations looking to procure digital health solutions can access the DPS by visiting healthappsdps.orcha.co.uk
The site provides drop-down options for each health and care category on the DPS, allowing organisations to easily see which apps and digital solutions are available for procurement. Transparent information is available on how each solution has scored in terms of its clinical assurance, data privacy and user experience, meaning organisations can make informed decisions as to which apps to procure.
How digital health developers can apply for inclusion on the DPS
Digital health app developers and suppliers who want to apply for inclusion on the DPS should visit lppsourcing.org, select the ‘find opportunities’ option after logging in to LPP Sourcing, then select NHS London Procurement Partnership from the Organisations drop-down.
If you have a relevant digital health solution, you can apply to be part of the DPS here.
In order to view the opportunity, select the ‘find opportunities’ option on the landing page once you have logged in to LPP Sourcing. From there, select NHS London Procurement Partnership from the Organisations drop down. A list of current opportunities should load. From this list, please select ‘Health and Social Care Apps DPS.’ When this page has loaded, please select ‘Register interest in this opportunity’; you will be taken to the opportunity where you can review all documentation, and, should you wish to, begin the electronic questionnaire by clicking on the green icon at the bottom of the page. To reply to each question, please click on the edit link within the Question Sets box.