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  3. Frameworks

Awarded onto a NHS SBS Framework Agreement? Keen to promote business through the framework? Then read on...

FrameworksIf you're a supplier on one of our framework agreements - welcome and congratulations! The time and expertise you have invested in replying to a NHS SBS tender has paid off.

The information below should help you understand what support NHS SBS can provide to help you drive business via the framework.


Implementation support. There is a range of support available from NHS SBS to help promote your business. Marketing activity is gauged by the subject matter expert of the framework agreement, and can include (for example) supplier and customer webinars, social media, Contracts Finder, attendance at events and advertising in trade press. Clinical Advisor support is available to aid clinical dialogue with customers; category management support is provided throughout the life of each framework agreement, and there is dedicated support from the implementation team for new frameworks.

By the time a framework agreement has been awarded a range of implementation and marketing support will have already been planned, and suppliers made aware of the Framework Implementation Plan. Suppliers are actively encouraged to share details of their promotional activity with us - for example, online and social media activity, attendance at conferences and events - and also customer engagement activities to ensure implementation is coordinated and optimised.

Routes to market. NHS SBS's framework agreements are free to access and open to all Public Sector organisations, including local authorities, educational institutions and the emergency services as well as the NHS. Typically, they include provision for customers to make a direct award to a supplier, or to conduct a mini competition if preferred.

Direct awards. In accordance with their organisations' Standing Financial Instructions, customers have the scope to engage in dialogue with suppliers and ascertain the fit between their requirements and the suppliers' provision. If they wish, customers can formalise this dialogue via a Capability Assessment. If a supplier is identified which can match the customers' requirements, a direct award can be made by completing the framework order form and quoting the framework reference number.

Conducting a mini competition. Customers can chose to further test the market by conducting a mini competition. This has to be carried out within the scope of the relevant lot of a framework agreement. NHS SBS has developed guidance notes to support customers in carrying out a fair and equitable mini competition process, and can provide bespoke advice to customers who want to conduct one themselves. NHS SBS also has a dedicated project team who can carry out customer specific projects, including mini competitions, for a fee.

Catalogue support. A catalogue is built to support each framework agreement in GHX Nexus. It provides a go-to list of products to rationalise customers' purchasing of consumables, and where possible (given the nature of service based solutions) some service elements can also be included. As a supplier, NHS SBS will work you over the life of the framework agreement to ensure catalogues are maintained with accurate information.


If have any questions about our framework agreements, or want to learn more about our forthcoming programme of tenders please contact NSBS.contractenquiries@nhs.net


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