New framework helps facilitate safe return to the workplace

A new procurement framework has been launched to help public sector organisations access technology that supports social distancing in the workplace.

Launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), the Workspace Optimisation Framework has been developed to meet the needs of NHS and other public sector employers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 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, whilst 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.

The agreement, which is set to run until April 2024, is expected to provide public sector savings opportunities of between 10-20 per cent. It means that NHS and other public bodies can directly award contracts without the need for a complex and time-consuming procurement process.

Phil Davies, Director of Procurement at NHS SBS, 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.

“With Covid-19 providing numerous challenges to NHS and public sector employers, the specialist support available via this new framework will ensure that workplaces remain fit for purpose, whilst being conducive to social distancing and safe working practices.”