FAQs

Questions and Answers on Confluence

Ref

Question

Answer

B01

What support, operational and financial, will be provided to buyers in order to secure services under the GP IT Futures Framework?

Under the Digital Care Services GPITF Framework services can be purchased via three procurement procedures which are suitable under different circumstances based on contract value and complexity of the services you wish to procure.

Core procurement support as well as the contract timetable is currently under review, please refer to Timelines

Some migration support is available where you switch foundation solutions and additional funding is available where you switch to a foundation solution which meets the pre-specified digital maturity criteria. 

B02

Can we continue to migrate practices from current incumbent providers to other incumbent providers under existing continuity arrangements?

Unless you arranged the move before 31 December 2019, in order to move from one solution to a replacement solution, buyers must execute one of the three procurement procedures available under GPITF. More detail on these procedures is provided in how to buy.

If you arranged the move before 31 December 2019, you may be eligible to enter into a Continuity Call Off Agreement (CCOA) for the replacement services. 

B03

How do the contract term and termination provisions operate under Digital Care Services GPIT Futures?

Call Off Agreements under the GPITF Lot 1 Framework are constructed in a manner that allows you to order services per service recipient for an initial term defined by you, but typically one year and for the term to automatically extend month by month up to a maximum of 3 years unless you issue notice to terminate giving 30 days’ notice.

 Termination for convenience after the initial term for an order does not have any associated termination related payments. Termination within the initial term requires payment of 50% of any periodic service charges due over the remaining period of the initial term.

More detail is provided in the GPITF Contractual Overview here.

B04

How frequently will buyers be required to re-compete the Digital Care Services GPIT Futures services and does this mean GP Practices will need to change systems at that frequency?

The maximum term for service provision to a service recipient is 3 years under a GPITF Call Off Agreement.

 Buyers must therefore re-secure services at least every 3 years.

When procuring services under the GPITF procurement procedures buyers will need to define the associated evaluation criteria used to determine which replacement services are secured.

The evaluation criteria should consider the whole life cost of the procurement, including any migration costs and disruptions, and should result in the right outcome for the buyer.

This may or may not result in a migration to different replacement services. More detail on these procedures is provided in how to buy

B05

Will this new framework support CCG’s that already have all their GP Practices on the same clinical system with full integration?

The GPITF Lot 1 Framework should support the work that has been done.

The GPITF guidance provided here sets out the objectives for GPITF, how that supports interoperability and how you buy services under GPITF.

B06

How will Digital Care Services GPIT Futures support the changing needs of buyers?

One of the underpinning design principles of GPITF is the need to adapt to meet changing buyer needs. This will be achieved by:

·       Adapting the Standards and Capabilities Model based on buyer needs identified on an ongoing basis as we re-compete the services.

·       Listening to buyer inputs received 

·       Refreshing the framework regularly in order to accommodate variations in the Standards and Capabilities Model, to ensure that new entrants to the market can sell their products via GPITF and to optimise the commercials and contractual provisions based on actual operational experience.

B07

If buyers go through the evaluation questions and the product catalogue recommends a system that is not their preferred choice what happens then?

Under the Digital Care Services GPITF Framework services can be purchased via three procurement procedures which are suitable under different circumstances based on contract value and complexity of the services you wish to procure.

When procuring services under the GPITF procurement procedures buyers will need to define the associated evaluation criteria used to determine which replacement services are secured.

The evaluation criteria should consider the whole life cost of the procurement, including any migration costs and disruptions, and should, if the evaluation methodology is designed appropriately, result in the right outcome for the buyer. This may or may not result in a migration to different replacement services.

The buyer is not obligated to award a contract to the winning supplier(s).

B08

If a CCG procures some subsidiary systems as well as the foundation systems - what will happen with these now?

NHS Digital and NHS England will secure Continuity Call Off Agreements (CCOAs) for all software solution contracted for under Lot 1 of GPSoC that are available via GPITF as those solutions become compliant.

 The CCOAs will provide continuity of service through to March 2021.

For non-software solutions and solutions contracted for under GPSoC Lots 2 and 3, buyers are responsible for ensuring continuity of service and securing replacement services.

B09

Will there be a standard notice period for these contracts?

Call Off Agreements under the GPITF Lot 1 Framework are constructed in a manner that allows buyers to order services for an initial term, which would typically be one year, and for the term to automatically extend month by month up to a maximum of 3 years unless notice is issued to terminate (giving 30 days’ notice). 

More detail is provided in the GPITF Contractual Overview here.

B10

Will there be a pricing cap on solutions, and will the suppliers offer discounts?

Foundation Catalogue Solution Sets (one or more solutions from a supplier that collectively meet all of the foundation capabilities) are subject to an affordability cap. All other solutions are not.

Suppliers can offer discounts to their list price under the “off catalogue further competition procedure” – the other two procurement procedures do not involve supplier interaction and suppliers do not therefore discount these.

For more detail on capabilities see the Capabilities and Standards overview here.

For more detail on buying scenarios see how to buy.

For more detail on funding allocations to buyers see funding guidance.

B11

After this framework when will the next framework be published for suppliers that didn't apply this time?

The GPITF Framework will be refreshed regularly. We currently expect to refresh by early 2021, but this could be sooner or later depending upon several factors which include the number of suppliers that have market ready solutions that are not on the current framework.

B12

If we are wanting to migrate practices from one supplier to another what is the process?

The migration of practices from one supplier to another under GPITF may be handled either

(a)where you have a GPITF Call Off Agreement with both the outgoing and incoming supplier, within the constraints of the procurement regulations, you may execute the contractual change via a variation to each of the GPITF Call Off Agreements; or

(b) as procurements under GPITF using one of the permitted procurement procedures.

For more detail on buying scenarios see how to buy

B13

How do Patient Facing Services work under GPITF?

Patient Facing Services that are on the Buying Catalogue remain centrally contracted – this is to ensure that patients have access to the widest range of services that are properly integrated with the GP practices foundation solutions.

GP practices should make themselves aware of the different services that are integrated with their chosen Foundation Solution and make patients aware of the full range of services available to them.

Details can be found on the GP Practices NHS.UK page.

B14

How do buyers influence the marketplace to meet their business needs?

Buyers are responsible for defining the evaluation methodology and criteria applicable to their procurements (within the constraints placed on each of the three GPITF procurement procedures) and the reasons for success / failure by suppliers will, to an appropriate extent, be made available to buyers and suppliers. This will inevitably influence suppliers to meet buyer needs in order to secure business.

For more detail on buying scenarios see how to buy

B15

How do I merge practices under GPITF?

You will need to contact the contracted supplier to agree a variation to the Call Off Order Form to reflect the change in service instances. Where a service instance is ceasing through merger this should not incur a penalty even where this variation occurs within the initial term for that service instance.

Information then needs to be captured on the Order Tracker and NHS Digital notified, see Ordering Solutions / Service Changes.

B16

Given the Continuity Call Off Agreements expire in March 2021 and migration between systems can take several months, how is this catered for under GPITF?

Only a contract for replacement services needs to be in place by the expiry of the Continuity Call Off Agreement (CCOA) – any migration to new replacement services can take place after the expiry as the CCOA will provide continuity of service under its exit arrangements.

We do not anticipate that large scale migrations to new replacement foundation solutions will occur in the next 18 months, unless the associated procurements demonstrate that the benefits of migrating outweigh the switching costs and service disruption. However, if significant migrations do occur the supplier will include a plan for such migrations in their tender / contract and these migrations should consider any go-live constraints specified in the procurement.   

B17

What do CCG's need to start doing with regards to competitive procurements?

NHS Digital will work with you to determine your future requirements and to execute competitive procurements for the GPITF services that best meet those requirements. See Timelines

B18

Can a Practice or CCG select their existing supplier?

It is your responsibility to comply with the relevant local and national procurement regulations. Under GPITF the direct award of contracts without executing a competitive procurement is only supported for contracts with a value of <=£40k.

Under the GPITF Framework services can be purchased via three procurement procedures which are suitable under different circumstances based on contract value and complexity of the services you wish to procure.

More detail on the above is provided in how to buy

BC1

What is the Buying Catalogue?

The Buying Catalogue is a new digital marketplace that will provide an online platform to search and compare approved suppliers’ solutions on the framework and procure clinical IT system capabilities.

BC2

Are solutions listed on the Buying Catalogue assured?

To be listed on the Buying Catalogue, all Solutions must successfully demonstrate compliance with relevant NHS Standards.

BC3

What do I do if my current supplier is not listed on the Buying Catalogue

The suppliers listed on the Buying Catalogue are those suppliers that have achieved compliance with the relevant standards and capabilities associated with their product.  If your current supplier is not listed on the Buying Catalogue, NHS Digital will be working to help them achieve compliance with those applicable standards and capabilities as soon as possible so that new Call Off Agreements can be signed with them for continuation of services.

NHS Digital are working through a prioritised list of suppliers to ensure continuity of services for those suppliers who were on the legacy GPSoC contracts and more recently to support the Covid-19 response with suppliers of e-consult and video conference solutions. 

If you have any questions about specific suppliers, please contact gpitfutures@nhs.net

BC4

Can I use the Buying Catalogue to procure online video consultation software?

Commissioners and practices can view and select from solutions via the Buying Catalogue with charges centrally funded, however the procurement itself happens offline. CCGs will also have an option to receive a solution procured via the NHS England Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).

BC5

Is the Buying Catalogue live and how do I access it?       

The Buying Catalogue is now live and available here

BC6

Can I complete a procurement on the Buying Catalogue?

The execution of the procurement process will be completed offline, using an interim manual process. This means that once a buyer has accessed/downloaded all Buying Catalogue Solution Listing page information available, and relevant to the procurement they are completing, there will be nothing further to do on Buying Catalogue.

This will change in the future as the Buying Catalogue releases new functionality. The changes will be communicated out at the appropriate time. 

BC7

Will I need any training on the Buying Catalogue?

You will not need training to use the Buying Catalogue specifically. However, in order to understand the terminology and concepts that are presented through the Buying Catalogue you will be required to complete background and preparatory reading on things like the procurement options available to you, on concepts such as the Standards and Capabilities model, and on the commercial model.

BC8

Will I require a username and password to access the Buying Catalogue?

You will not need a password to view Buying Catalogue Solution Listing pages. Subsequent releases of the Buying Catalogue will deliver functionality for which password access will be required.

BC9

Will the Buying Catalogue be easy to use?

The Buying Catalogue has been developed to be easy to use and guidance is available to support you with this process.

BC10

When will more solutions become available on the Buying Catalogue?

As supplier's Buying Catalogue Solutions become compliant with the requirements of the Framework, their solutions will become available to purchase and CCGs will be able to commence the procurement process to include these solutions.