Feb 26, 2024

How do NHS frameworks work?

The Novello Healthcare team get asked lots of questions about NHS frameworks – how many there are, how they work, which hospitals they cover and so on!

So we thought we’d write this lovely blog to explain exactly what they are – happy reading!

As you may know, our mission is to find a sustainable agency model for the NHS and other private healthcare organisations. We do this with our pioneering tech – which keeps as much money as possible between the healthcare professional and healthcare organisation.

To do this, we need to be an approved supplier to the NHS. There are two NHS frameworks that NHS organisations use as a vehicle for their supply of healthcare professionals:

  • Workforce Alliance Partnership
  • Health Trust Europe

The purpose of the frameworks is to ensure that all suppliers to the NHS are compliant to certain standards, documentation and rates. 

Each framework runs for two years but is typically extended another two years – so the chance to apply to be on it only comes around every four years!

To be approved, a nursing agency has to go through a lengthy tender process which typically takes 6 – 12 months. To be awarded approved supplier status you need meet all the criteria throughout the tender process. It’s not an easy process and it’s a huge achievement to be awarded framework status. 

There are usually around 400 – 500 suppliers on framework but this is for all staffing groups (doctors, nursing, midwifery and AHPs). Many more will not be successful in their efforts to be awarded.

Novello Healthcare has been tendering for the Workforce Alliance Partnership framework for over 12 months, and it was due to be delivered in October 2023. 

However, it has been delayed several times during the process and we are currently waiting for our next update which we believe to be imminent. 

This is exciting, because most NHS trusts will only let you supply healthcare professionals if you are on one of the frameworks and we believe we will be an approved supplier within weeks!

There are a handful of NHS Trusts that will only engage through one of the frameworks, and so for some NHS Trusts we may have to wait for the Health Trust Europe framework, but we are confident of onboarding NHS hospitals in every region once we have been awarded Workforce Alliance Partnership framework status.

The good news is that we have already started the tender process for the Health Trust Europe framework. This is due to be awarded in October 2024 and will really cement our status as an approved NHS supplier!

Once on framework, we then need to contact each and every NHS trust and ask that we work in partnership with us, and allow us to be one of their preferred agencies. Each trust will have their own choice of approved suppliers to work with. Some may have as many as 50 on their preferred supplier list, and some may only choose to work with three agencies. 

Our job is to ensure that we are their agency of choice, by asking them to understand our mission and see that we have the most incredible healthcare professionals all on the mission together! 

It can take us anything from a week to three months to onboard an NHS Trust and get their shifts in our app, but we will keep all our members updated with our progress.

In the meantime, our focus is on providing exceptional service to our members. This includes ensuring we have as many shifts as possible in the app available for you to book. We expect this to increase rapidly to 10,000+ shifts per day once we are on framework, so watch this space!

Share :

Other articles in category

Got a question?
Contact us today - we'd love to help!

Contact us today