Supporting Informed NHS Customers for Information Technology

Published on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 16:35
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Department of Health today announced a number of initiatives to support the NHS as an informed customer for IT, ensuring that local decision-making about procuring new systems delivers value for money for patients

A joint initiative with eHealth Insider (EHI) will give NHS local commissioners and Trusts free access to information on the systems and suppliers installed across the NHS, providing detailed insight into the systems options available to them, applicable standards, and the feedback of real users.  Accessible via the EHI website the information will provide the opportunity for NHS Trusts to give their feedback on suppliers in relation to provision of systems to support patient care.

EHI Intelligence reports will now include the following:


  • Details of key clinical and administrative systems used within all Trusts and PCTs.
  • Details of system conformance against NHS standards as published on the Information Standards Board website.
  • Details of PC, laptop, notebook and smartphone device quantities in use by individual NHS organisations.

A facility to allow users to rate the systems and suppliers that they use.

Raw data about systems in use within the NHS will also be published on the CFH Website and  This means other information intermediaries can use the data to provide different insights to support the NHS as it continues to develop its capacity to exchange and provide information.

The Department of Health is additionally working with the Government Procurement Service on a pan-government supplier information database (SID4GOV) which will be a useful reference point for those involved in procuring and evaluating system suppliers.
Intellect, the trade organisation for IT suppliers, is actively working with the Department of Health to develop these initiatives, as part a joint plan to develop a healthy and vibrant market, and to build confidence in the wider use of IT as benefiting patient care. The initial version of the joint plan has also been published today.

Katie Davis, Managing Director of Informatics at the Department of Health, said:

“We are committed to providing the NHS with the insight it needs to take the right decisions in sourcing systems in the future. By making our own core information on our use of IT available for others to add their own expert insight and value, we have made a major step forward in providing the necessary information – for free – to all NHS customers. Furthermore, we hope that this transparency will send a clear signal to the supplier community that the NHS IT market is open for business”.

Jon Hoeksma, EHI Director, said:

“By combining our efforts on trust-level data collection and adding EHI’s     sophisticated web portal, we’ve been able to build the missing map of NHS IT.  The market transparency now available offers significant benefits to the NHS IT community we both serve – NHS customers and suppliers alike.  To add insight to the data, EHI Intelligence has developed powerful new analytical tools, free to NHS users, beginning with supplier ratings.”

John Higgins, Director General at Intellect, said:

“Stimulating the market is as much about having informed customers as a responsive supplier community.  With DH we have outlined a new approach to engaging the customer and supply side in a more collaborative and transparent way.  Together we’re committed to overcoming the obstacles that stand in the way of the NHS harnessing leading and innovative information technology.”

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