NHS England - Transformation Directorate

Clinical communications procurement framework

The procurement framework aims to support NHS organisations with dedicated clinical facing communication and tasks management tools, to accelerate the adoption of proven technologies and to phase out pagers by the end of 2021.


The framework is frozen pending decision on strategy.

The framework agreement has been designed to provide a compliant and convenient route to market for the NHS commissioners within England.

This includes NHS England and Improvement, clinical commissioning groups, primary care networks, NHS trusts and NHS special health authorities.

It allows clinicians to access a wide range of communication tools all under one procurement framework agreement. Participating authorities have the freedom and flexibility to make a direct award or undertake a mini-competition to meet the bespoke requirement of each customer.

The suppliers have been assessed to ensure that they meet all legislative requirements, therefore no formal tendering is required, saving valuable time and money in the procurement process. The framework contains large national companies but also a healthy number of regional SMEs, and all can showcase their products through the framework, helping buyers to make informed local decisions.

Framework date and duration

3 August 2020 to 3 August 2022. Possible further extension for 12 months.

Guidance for using the framework

Buying services through the framework

1. What is the Clinical Communication Framework

The Clinical Communications Procurement Framework is an agreement (between the government and suppliers), that is faster than entering into individual procurement contracts.

2. Support services

One of the benefits of using this framework is that you will have access to support services from the Hub, who will make sure to guide you through the process. They are a friendly, reactive team ready to provide you with the best possible experience as you work your way through the purchase of these services.

3. Who can buy

All NHS organisations can use this framework to buy services. Our aim is to make this available to as many parties as possible. The framework does not prevent NHS organisations from undertaking their own process outside of this framework for procurement of clinical communication tools.

4. Geographic coverage

The coverage is nationwide.

5. Various provider types

A broad range of suppliers, from SMEs to large corporate companies.

6. Direct award option

There is the opportunity to directly award on the framework using a direct award procedure if the supplier best fits your requirements and budget.

7. Mini-competition option

There is the opportunity to run a mini competition off the main framework agreement to meet any more bespoke requirements and to support with driving down pricing.

Before you start

1. List your requirements

Make sure to have the advice of someone who will use the service or buying specialists and technical experts in order to list your ‘must-haves’, ‘wants’ and critical success factors. You will need to consider the budget available, the technical and procurement requirements of the project and the criteria on which your choice will be based. If you get stuck, not to worry, the Hub will be there to help guide you through this stage of the process.

2. Talk to suppliers

This must be done as part of an early engagement event prior to publishing your requirements.

Talking to suppliers will help you with the following:

  • understand your requirements better
  • write clearer requirements to publish to suppliers
  • understand how much the work could cost
  • understand how long the work could take
  • write a better business case

Information you could give suppliers includes:

  • your organisation’s name and department
  • background to your organisation and project
  • what you want to achieve
  • the phases you want them to give feedback on
  • the date you need them to respond by
  • where the work for any future project will take place
  • when you want the work to start
  • the information you want them to provide, for example, how much the work might cost, how many people it might involve and how long it might take
  • any next steps

The more detail you can give to potential suppliers about your requirements, the easier it will be for them to provide a thorough response.

3. The approach you should take

It’s your responsibility to decide how you’re going to run the early market engagement process. You should get commercial or legal advice before you start.

You must comply with the principles in the European Directive on Public Procurement and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when you do early market engagement. This means you must ensure you don’t give any supplier, whether you talk to them or not, a competitive advantage.

Legally, you have to:

  • treat all suppliers equally
  • be transparent about what you need and the process you’re following
  • ensure any requests for information you make are proportionate to your needs
  • share any relevant information from early market engagement in your requirements
  • exclude a supplier if you think they might have an unfair advantage because of their involvement in early market engagement

You must not:

  • discriminate against any suppliers, for example, by writing your requirements in a way that unfairly excludes a particular supplier
  • share information about your requirements with one supplier if you’re not going to share it with other suppliers, for example, tell one supplier your budget if you’re not going to publish it with your requirements for other suppliers to see
  • share a supplier’s confidential information

4. Keep an audit trail

An audit trail is a record of what you do when you buy services on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework. You will need to take screenshots and document your search as you go.

If you award a contract through this framework, you must be able to show that your assessment of services was fair and transparent.

You should keep your own record of your communications with suppliers, including any early market engagement, clarification questions, emails and face to face conversations you have.

5. Bring your own device (BYOD) guidance 

We want to best support trusts in being able to use the technology they both want and need. A recent NHS Digital Academy study by Rob Blagden from the 2gether foundation trust found that the NHS had the biggest gap (compared to other public sector organisations) between NHS trusts who allow BYOD but don’t have a policy. The research identified that without a clear policy in place users were more likely to use technology how they like and inadvertently putting NHS organisations at risk.

NHSX wants to encourage all trusts to consider developing their own BOYD policy. Please read this policy document.



Buyers are required to provide to the National Commercial and Procurement Hub an assurance checklist and bid document.

NHSX clinical communication tool framework assurance checklist (ODS, 30KB)

How to buy: a step by step guide

1. Search for suppliers

Use the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework to search for services that meet your needs.

2. Use the supplier service search tool to filter suppliers to meets needs

You must assess all of the services in your search results, in a fair and transparent way. Add keywords to create a list of services that meet your wants as well as your must-haves. 

You will need to take screenshots and document your search as you go.

3. Assess suppliers

When you search for services on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework, you must assess all the services in your search results, making sure to assess according to your budget and requirements. Your assessment of these services should always be as fair and as transparent as possible. You must not unfairly exclude any services without referring back to your requirements. 

3.1 Ask clarification questions to the suppliers

You can contact suppliers to ask them to explain their service description, terms and conditions, pricing or service definition documents. You must not negotiate with suppliers about the details of their service. If it isn’t in their service description, you can’t ask a question about it. Always keep a record of any conversations you have with suppliers.

3.2 Reviewing service descriptions

Your assessment should be based on the information in suppliers’ detailed service descriptions. Spend some time going through the descriptions of the services you’ve found to find the service that best meets your budget and requirements. Each service description includes a: terms and conditions document, pricing document. They may also include a service definition document. The price shown on the service description page is the cost of the most common configuration of the service. Pricing is normally volume-based, so you should always look at the supplier’s pricing document to work out the actual price of what you’re going to buy.

3.3 Choosing the winning supplier

When choosing the winning service, you should consider:

  • whole life cost: the cost effectiveness, price and running costs of the service, technical merit and functional fit, for example, coverage, network capacity and performance
  • after-sales service management: the helpdesk, account management function and assurance of supply of a range of services, non-functional characteristics, for example, supplier terms, help with on boarding and off boarding, scalability, reliability and automatic disaster recovery

Your final choice should be based on best fit, rather than ruling out suppliers that don’t meet either your current contract or an ideal set of terms. When you have chosen a service, you can award a contract to the supplier.

If you cannot find a supplier after your first assessment, then we would advise proceeding to a mini competition in order to find the best match for you. The opportunity will be advertised for approved suppliers to take part in. Following a submission of their offer, you will be required to evaluate their offer and a moderation session will take place, revealing the winning bidder. 

4. Award the contract

The buyer and supplier must both sign a copy of the contract before the service can be used.

4.1 Download the contract

Check the framework name and number on the service description page before you download your templates and legal documents.

4.2 Contract length

The maximum length of a contract is normally 24 months. After this you’ll need to start a new search on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework.

In some cases you may be able to extend your contract if you have the right approvals.

4.3 Terms and conditions

If there’s any contradiction between the contract terms and conditions and the framework terms and conditions, the framework terms will take precedence. In a contract, the terms and conditions and prices are all agreed when the framework agreement is signed.

4.4 Outcome

When you award a contract, you must tell us the outcome and send us the contract details. We collect this information to help us improve the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework for buyers and suppliers.

4.5 Feedback to suppliers

We will gather your comments to send feedback to suppliers on areas to improve. This will enable them increase the quality of their future submissions.


To use the supplier service search tool email the National Commercial and Procurement Hub at commercial.procurementhub@nhs.net

Extending your contract - new contract to be agreed

You can extend your contract by one year. Please make sure to check exit plans in your agreement.

When your contract ends - follow contract agreements

If you need a new contract because you can’t or don’t want to extend, you must re-evaluate your needs and the services on offer on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework.

If your requirements haven’t changed, it’s still worth checking the services remain the same on the framework that may be better value for money. You can then enter into a new contract but must keep records to prove that your assessment has been fair.


Contact the hub team if you have any questions about the framework or the buying process, for example, contacting a supplier from the framework.

Email the hub team at commercial.procurementhub@nhs.net

List of suppliers

There are 24 suppliers on the Clinical Communications Procurement Framework (subject to contract and finance due diligence).


Smartpage is a secure, encrypted healthcare task management and messaging solution that facilitates direct communication and oversight of demand across a health organisation, real time.

The solution allows instant two-way messaging for symptoms, results, observations, notes, and images, with read receipts, and guaranteed delivery between all care team members.

Contact: Tom Scott Tom.Scott@Alcidion.com

Telephone: 07837 963 902

Or email: UKtenders@alcidion.com

Telephone: 01749 685 238

Website: https://alcidion.com/products/smartpage

Armour Communications

Medicomms, created by Armour Communications and offered as a managed service in alliance with Nine23’s Platform Flex, benefits from the pedigree of years supplying governments and military organisations. Secure in its design, Medicomms offers alerts along with voice, group messaging with options for video, image collection and patient record integration.

Contact: Peter Jenkins, peter.jenkins@armourcomms.com 

Mobile: 7983738338

Website: www.armourcomms.com/medicomms

Barrier Networks

A safe communication platform that’s easy-to-use and cost effective. The NHS needs a safe and simple communication solution. For a digital clinic appointment between specialist and patient, a psychologist contacting clients, or simply a meeting with colleagues or external parties. Barrier would like to introduce you to ZIVVER.

Contact: Iain Slater, iain.slater@barriernetworks.com

Mobile: 07484 268974

Telephone: 0141 356 0101

Website: www.barriernetworks.com/nhs-clinical-communication-tool


Want to share digital images like X-Rays as part of clinical chat? Do it in diagnostic quality using a CE marked medical device that protects your clinical users. Bleepa evolved from PACS and is certified to provide imaging at a suitable quality for clinical review. Bleepa, share the whole picture.

Contact: sales@bleepa.com

Telephone: 02081 267687 

Website: www.bleepa.com


BT’s Secure Messaging powered by Medic Bleep is a clinical messaging solution enabling workforce collaboration and increased productivity through a secure, compliant real-time communication tool. Enabling your workforce to send and receive, text, images, files, initiate voice calls, create group chats and pass your on-call roll all within one application.

Contact: smenquiries@bt.com

Telephone: 07530 022326

Website (demo video): https://vimeo.com/427666788/7ff0a4abb1

Cinapsis SmartReferrals

Cinapsis is interoperable with all NHS systems and revolutionises how clinicians remotely work together, maximising their efficiency to:

  • connect through 1:1 and group messaging, telephone, video, custom forms
  • incorporate specialist A&G into referral pathways
  • instantly share patient images, video, records
  • schedule referrals and manage patient lists
  • produce activity or outcome data

Contact: Owain Rhys Hughes, owain@cinapsis.org

Mobile: 07979 390449

Website: www.cinapsis.org/our-technology

Dental Triage

Dental Triage is a data driven medical and dental referrals and triage platform, designed by clinicians, that facilitates secure transfers of care and manages the entire episode of care optimally. This is an innovative clinical communication platform that facilitates a seamless, multi-disciplinary approach to care through a flexible, modular system.

Contact: Francis Clough, francis.clough@nhs.net

Mobile: 07769 677528

Website: www.dental-triage.com

Dictate IT

Dictate IT provides an enterprise web and mobile app platform that aggregates several key hospital communication functions:

  • digital dictation
  • speech recognition
  • video appointments
  • clinical messaging
  • patient appointment reminders

The platform has bi-directional HL7 integration with PAS and EPRs, is cloud-based, and has AES 256 bit encryption.

Contact: sales@dictate.it

Telephone: 020 3307 1500

Website: www.dictate.it/frontend


DocComs, developed by RMJ Clinical Solutions Ltd, is the future of medical communications. DocComs is a secure, NHS governance aligned, GDPR compliant medical communications application that allows all medical professionals to discuss patients, contact each other quickly and easily through individual and group messaging, calls and push notifications.

Contact: Roseanna Jaggard, info@doccoms.co.uk

Telephone: 0203 290 0234

Website: www.doccoms.com

Engage Solutions Group Ltd

Secure, next gen, mobile first communications platform based on social media-style tooling for fast uptake with zero training. Includes personalised feed, messaging, image and video share, augmented reality capability, push alerts, contact directory and lots more. Typically deployed in within one month, scales effortlessly from 100 -100,000 users.

Contact: John Porter, Commercial Director, john.porter@engagesolutionsgroup.com

Telephone: 0161 250 2180

Mobile: 07715 179364

Website:  www.engagesolutionsgroup.com


Everbridge’s CareConverge enables NHS Trusts to coordinate all clinical and non-clinical staff cross multiple locations and schedules to respond to the needs of patients efficiently and effectively. 2-way communications can be sent to individuals or groups by:

  • app
  • SMS
  • email
  • voice
  • photo
  • video

Contact: Iris Wickham  iris.wickham@everbridge.com

Mobile: 07541 965949

Website: www.everbridge.com/products/careconverge

Healthcent Ltd (trading as Signapps)

Signapps™ Care is a suite of mobile messenger and web applications that provide integrated, user-friendly communication channels for healthcare professionals to collaborate securely. Collaboration can be of a clinical nature and specific to a patient or generalized enabling teams and individuals to discuss administrative matters in real-time from any location.

Contact: Andrew Davies, andrew@getsignapps.com

Mobile: 0782 377668

Website: www.getsignapps.com


Mobile access to patients is critical. Achieve a comprehensive mobile approach with Voalte®. Go beyond secure messaging and voice using video to connect on a deeper level. Take advantage of industry-standard integrations to EPR, nurse call, and middleware for patient-centric alerting, access patient data including waveforms and vitals.

Contact: Anthony McInnes-Willard tendersandcontracts@hillrom.com

Mobile:  07775 792864

Telephone: 01530 411000

Website: www.hillrom.com/en/products/care-comms-mobile


Hospify is a secure and compliant health data communication platform for everyone in health, both patient and clinician. This free messaging app can be downloaded from the app stores. The team messaging platform (the Hospify Hub and web app) can be purchased by hospitals, surgeries, and other healthcare institutions.

Contact: support@hospify.com

Telephone: 020 3633 5775

Website: www.hospify.com

Induction Healthcare Group

Induction is a set of mobile and web based digital tools that help healthcare professionals deliver better care more efficiently and effectively. The app supports over 140,000 clinicians with their workflow everyday - through clinical messaging, enhanced productivity and communications using hospital directories (bleeps and extensions), task management, and guidance.

Contact: Eamus Halpin, eamus.h@inductionhealthcare.com

Contact: Calum Macleod, calum.macleod@zesty.co.uk

Telephone: 020 3771 7799

Website: https://induction-app.com

Intechnology PLC

Intechnology provides instant communication solutions for use in NHS settings. This includes the ability to instantly talk, instantly message, video, image share, geo fence, location track and alert all from one device. The solution has over 150,000 users globally in more than 30 countries across Africa, South and North America and Europe. 

Contact: info@intechnologyplc.com

Website: www.intechnologyplc.com/mobile-tornado

Multitone Electronics

Multitone offers both a messenger application and a mass messaging solution. These are designed to ensure that whatever your environment and specific communication needs, that Multitone can aid in ensuring safe and secure communications, getting to the right people first time, every time.

Contact: Peter Lomax, Director of UK Sales & Marketing, peter.lomax@multitone.com

Telephone: 01256 320292

Website: www.multitone.com/solutions


Nervecentre’s Next Generation Electronic Patient Record is the first new Electronic Patient Record for the NHS in twenty years. It exploits modern mobile technology to give clinical and operational teams in acute settings the real-time information they need to deliver safer, faster, high quality care.

Contact: sales@nervecentresoftware.com

Telephone: 0118 974 0128

Website: http://nervecentresoftware.com/next-gen-epr

Open Medical

Pathpoint clinical communication tools include SafeView and SafeAttach. Send an encrypted one-time link in a SMS message to share secure photos (such as of wounds) and validated advice leaflets and videos, or a real-time video consultation. Use in conjunction with Pathpoint clinical workflow software for end-to-end patient care pathways.

Contact: sales@openmedical.co.uk

Telephone: 020 3475 2955

Website: https://openmedical.co.uk


Pando by Forward Clinical Ltd. was designed by and for NHS clinicians. Already used by 50,000+ NHS healthcare professionals, our app is proven to replace WhatsApp and pagers by instantly connecting teams. Collaborate by individual and group messaging, share patient information securely, and speed-up decision making.

Contact: support@hellopando.com

Telephone: 03300 970 165

Website: www.hellopando.com

Pulse Health App

A fully end-to end encrypted iOS, Android, and Web Application. Containing full instant message functionality, secure image and file sharing, voice and video calls, NHSMail SSO including federated access, and a full NHS Directory.

Clients will access the Pulse Health Admin panel to administer or manage accounts, broadcast to users, and view useful statistics.

Contact: Craig Spencer, c.spencer1@nhs.net

Mobile: ​07534 610 616

Contact: Ahmad Navid, a.navid1@nhs.net

Mobile: 07832 353839

Website: www.pulsehealth.co.uk

Softcat Plc (in partnership with Alertive) 

Safe, secure and simple communication. Alertive is a secure, integrated, and real-time application, developed with a number of NHS trusts to empower healthcare users with accurate and responsive information at the point of care. Pager replacement functionality and patient-based clinical messaging allows clinicians to be alerted to and instantly respond to any situation.

Softcat Plc and Alertive

Alertive’s mobile application powers communication and access to critical information within a hospital. Developed in partnership with a number of NHS trusts, core functionality covers critical alerting (replacing bleeps and pagers), clinical messaging, task and priority management and event monitoring (including advanced integration and automation capabilities).

Contact: Charles Harrison, psitq@softcat.com

Telephone: 0161 272 5766

Webpage: alertive.co.uk

Southern Communications Corporate Solutions

Rainbow for Healthcare connects your entire healthcare ecosystem to an innovative solution with communication, collaboration, and connectivity at the heart of the technology. The system interconnects your facilities, delivers robust health data protection, and optimises your business processes. Chatbot, artificial intelligence, location-based and asset tracking services allow for proactive services.

Contact: nhsxenquiries@southern-comms.co.uk or sc-publicsector@southern-comms.co.uk

Telephone: 020 3603 0505

Webpage: www.sc-corporate.co.uk/rainbow-by-ale

System C Healthcare Ltd

CareFlow Connect is a secure and mobile clinical communications and collaboration system designed to facilitate faster and safer care co-ordination for clinical teams within a hospital and across a care community. Its rich functionality incorporates patient identified messaging, real-time event notifications, electronic handover, task management and referral conversations.

Contact: Judi Holly, sales@systemc.com and judi.holly@systemc.com

Telephone: 01622 691 616

Website: www.systemc.com


For pricing please contact the National Commercial and Procurement Hub at commercial.procurementhub@nhs.net

Procurement services

The National Commercial and Procurement Hub is a service run by CSU and can help you with the following procurement needs:

  • eEarly market engagement
  • SME supplier engagement programmes
  • implementing social value in tenders including procurement for growth
  • tender management including for the following types of tenders: open, restricted, competitive dialogue, negotiated, and framework call-offs
  • contracts renegotiations
  • supplier relationship management (SRM) programmes including service turnaround

We offer our services on a flexible person per hour, either remotely or on-site.

Email the team at: commercial.procurementhub@nhs.net

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