Reducing the number of patients who miss appointments and putting patients in control with technology is a key step towards tackling the elective care backlog. Engagement solutions are a key enabler to support this. Digital solutions allow patients to have greater control over their elective care.

Of the 103 million outpatient appointments booked in 2021/22, 7.6% ended in a ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA), equating to an average of 650,000 monthly appointment slots.

To successfully reduce DNA rates, you need to understand the local reasons behind your organisations DNA rates and work to reduce them by implementing solutions that help ensure appointment slots are not wasted.

Digital solutions are a key enabler to allowing patients more control. Joe Harrison, NHSE National Director for Digital Channels, states that within five years, one in three interactions between patients and the NHS will be made digitally via the NHS app, website or other channels.

The Patient/Citizen Communications and Engagement Solutions Framework Agreement can support these goals by providing you with the digital tools to work towards empowering patients to manage their appointments. Patient portals benefit the patient and support your elective care recovery and transformation plans. Patients can see their results quicker than waiting for the results to come via the post or having to find time to phone up and ask; notifications can be sent via patient portals, which reduces the amount of printing and postage costs, and they support reducing DNAs as appointments can be rescheduled via these digital communication methods.

Ensuring the right technology is in place to deliver timely patient communication via the right channel to reduce missed appointments supports digital transformation for better patient outcomes. Find out more about this framework agreement solution here.

Framework Agreement Information

What dates is the framework agreement active?
01 November 2021 – 31 October 2025

Who can take advantage of the framework agreement?
NHS and Public Sector organisations

What does this framework agreement cover?
This framework agreement covers one and two way communications for patients and citizens through a range of solutions and communication channels; digital (online) communications, email, SMS, interactive voice response (IVR), agent calls, hybrid mail, surveys & feedback (e.g. friends & family test) and workforce communications. Lot 9 all-in-one solution allows a sole supplier to manage all communication channels via a single solution or provide digital transformation advisory services.

The framework agreement has been structured in the following lots:

  • Lot 1: Digital
  • Lot 2: Email
  • Lot 3: SMS
  • Lot 4: IVR
  • Lot 5: Calls
  • Lot 6: Hybrid Mail
  • Lot 7: Surveys
  • Lot 8: Workforce
  • Lot 9: Combined

What are the benefits of using this framework agreement?
A compliant procurement exercise has already been undertaken to ensure that the framework suppliers meet all key standards and requirements, saving valuable time and resources.

Ability to directly award a contract to approved suppliers on the framework providing a timely and compliant route to market to meet your requirements.

Opportunity to run a further competition to meet the bespoke requirements of each organisation as well as helping to drive further competitive pricing.

A total of 29 suppliers have been awared to the framework agreement including Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

The experience and capability of suppliers has been robustly tested via the procurement process to establish the framework agreement giving full confidence in the approved suppliers

Suppliers are able to supply all regions and sub-regions of the UK


  • Reduce number of did not attends (DNA)
  • Improved patient journey and pathway
  • Increased clinician and administration efficiencies
  • Reduce backlog of urgent appointments
  • Increased communication efficiency and response times
  • Compliant route for friends & family test (FFT) service
  • Patient self-service and self-booking solutions
  • Digitisation of workplace and processes

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