The London Procurement Partnership (LPP) is a membership NHS organisation and operates as a centre of procurement and commercial excellence that delivers significant and sustainable cost and service improvements to all stakeholders, primarily in the London NHS economy but also outside London. There are 46 organisations within the NHS LPP membership along with clinical commissioning groups.
The purpose behind the Health & Social Care Apps Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)
Our engagement with our members highlighted that there is a need for an easy to access, safe and compliant route in which to procure health and social care applications to benefit patients, clinicians and non-clinical staff.
The Dynamic Purchasing System will support trusts in delivering the NHS ‘Long Term Plan’ providing apps that give patients a greater role in their care plan and place them at the centre of everything we do. The adoption of apps has already proven to reduce GP visits, prevent costly trips into A&E, lower usage of prescription drugs and help to close the population health discrepancies delivering both direct and indirect savings and benefits.
Governance and safety assurance is fundamental to any procurement process, especially one that involves patient data, clinical safety and cybersecurity requirements. As a result we have partnered with ORCHA to ensure that suppliers through our DPS will comply with strict and rigid rules around patient safety and data standards.
ORCHA is one of the leading providers of Health and Care App evaluations and reviews. It provides an objective and independent assessment of health and medical Apps. This is an advisory not regulatory service, but we do advise where regulatory issues may be important and should be considered further. It is however ultimately the responsibility of the developers and/or publishers of an App to ascertain its compliance with all relevant regulatory standards.
The ORCHA Baseline Review (“OBR”) is ORCHA’s first level of assessment and involves a detailed ‘desktop’ analysis of Digital Health solutions looking across all of the key areas of regulation and compliance. The OBR is largely undertaken proactively as part of ORCHA’s ongoing assessment and monitoring of the whole Digital Health market place and we review the most downloaded and most recently updated Apps and related Digital Health solutions across over 250 health and care categories and conditions.
The OBR is primarily an assessment of an Apps compliance with current standards, regulation and good practice (together “Standards”).
A standard is an agreed way of doing something. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials – standards can cover a huge range of activities undertaken by organizations and used by their customers.
”Standards are the distilled wisdom of people with expertise in their subject matter and who know the needs of the organizations they represent – people such as manufacturers, sellers, buyers, customers, trade associations, users or regulators.” (British Standards Institute)
They can be of regulatory significance or form non regulatory requirements or required best practice in a given jurisdiction or area.
The Standards we currently look at in the OBR are:
The OBR seeks to assess an App's performance through its compliance with these Standards. Our Review is regularly updated to reflect changes in these Standards. The higher the ORCHA Score achieved the more compliant the App is with these Standards and vice versa.
Whilst a high scoring App is not guaranteed to be effective or safe, or a poorly scoring App is not necessarily ineffective or unsafe, it does mean that the relevant Developer has taken more or less care over the App's compliance with these key Standards than other similar Apps. In the critical area of health and care, we believe that developers should take compliance with Standards extremely seriously.
Some Apps are technically medical devices and for class iia, iib and iii devices, require full assessment and Approval in the EU through processes overseen by the national regulatory bodies such as the MHRA in the UK and HPRA in Ireland and in other jurisdictions by similar regulatory bodies. An App of this nature should not be made available to the general public until it has been assessed and appropriately certified and any that we identify as being a non uncertified medical device is excluded from our general search.
If you become aware of any inaccuracy in the information presented in our Reviews or have any other concerns, please report this to us immediately at email@example.com.
ORCHA are not promoting or recommending any particular Apps through this process but are providing impartial information about an App's compliance with Standards and a mechanism for end users to easily identify those Apps that best meet those Standards and to check which ones don’t.