Framework to facilitate safe return of public sector staff

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched a new procurement framework to help public sector organisations access technology that supports social distancing in the workplace.

The Workspace Optimisation Framework has been developed to meet the needs of NHS and other public sector employers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NHS SBS says the ‘ready-to-use’ contracts provide ‘a simple, compliant, and cost-effective way of introducing new measures that promote a safe and secure workspace’. The types of support provided via the framework include sensor systems, which enable the real-time monitoring of workspaces, desks, meeting rooms, and whole building occupancy levels. Sensors can also be linked to online booking platforms to manage usage and ensure effective social distancing at work, while detailed heat maps reveal high use areas and workplace trends that can inform decision and policy making. Additional products and services include temperature monitoring stations for ‘quick and easy-to-use fever’ screening – ranging from thermal imaging cameras to fever detection kiosks.

Following a comprehensive OJEU- compliant procurement exercise, two specialist suppliers – Flexicount and Matrix Booking – have been awarded to the framework. The agreement, set to run until April 2024, is expected to provide public sector savings opportunities 10-20%.

Phil Davies, director of Procurement at NHS SBS (pictured), said: “We are very pleased to introduce this fast and compliant route to market for public sector organisations, supporting them as they transition to a ‘new normal’. The suppliers on our Workspace Optimisation Framework are experts in adapting office spaces and other working environments to attain maximum efficiencies.

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