It can be challenging to get NHS procurement right, and arguably there is no sphere in which that it is more true than technology.

Introduction

After the failure of centralised procurement under the National Programme for IT, control over which systems are purchased has passed back to individual organisations. At the same time, however, there is a requirement for commissioners and providers to create a consistency across a local care economy.

This necessity is at the heart of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and of Local Digital Roadmaps (LDRs). Both require a variety of care providers to unite and create a shared approach, with the desire for LDRs to be the cornerstone of the NHS becoming paper-free at the point of care.

Procuring across a footprint

It is one challenge to procure technology for an organisation. It is a deeper challenge still to procure solutions across an STP footprint. Interoperability will be key, and it is necessary to build trust among a range of partners, creating common objectives and an agreement to work towards them. Quite simply, the people and processes are just as important as the technology.

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