Atamis: your questions answered
If you are a procurement professional working in the NHS you may have heard of Atamis. But what does it do and what advantages can it offer over other eSourcing systems? We spoke to NHS LPP’s Assistant Procurement Director, Nicola Atack to find out more.
What is Atamis?
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has tendered for and procured a single e-commercial system to enable NHS organisations to replace the large variation in sourcing and contract management systems across the health family, with one platform.
It brings the commercial activities of the health service together in one place, including business case generation and sign off, tendering, evaluation, digital contract awards and performance management, supplier management and P2P interface. It’s currently being used by DHSC, NHS England and Improvement, ALBs and an increasing number of trusts.
Why is it important?
Fragmentation across the NHS, especially in the use of systems and information sharing, has presented a real challenge to patient care over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only shown us the importance of keeping continuity of high quality and safe supplies but also the need for the procurement profession to be given insight into the availability and process of securing essential goods and services. So far we’ve met these unprecedented demands through the sheer determination of individual teams, but if we’re to meet the intense demands on our national health and care service in future, we need to make a significant changes to our ways of working.
One of our greatest tools is to use data and technology better to increase the effectiveness and resilience of NHS procurement.
What are the advantages of using Atamis over my current system?
A sophisticated single e-commercial system like Atamis, used across the board, gives the ability to take a standardised approach and manage market risk and opportunities at a national level. Trusts and ICSs can benefit from a rich supplier database facilitating flexible collaboration and the ability to proactively manage contracts when our suppliers find themselves in difficulty. Information remains private to the organisation but can be made visible and shared if needed, meaning organisations can collaborate more easily on commercial projects.
It’s good for suppliers too, as they can view and respond to business opportunities across the health sector via a single log in, with duplication of effort vastly reduced.
What help is NHS LPP offering its customers to make the change?
NHS LPP has stepped forward to act as a regional support centre with our colleagues at PTOM. We have experience in standardising sourcing and contract management systems through the widespread use of ProContract, so we’ll apply this to help trusts take the next step to a national system. We’re heavily subsidising the cost of license fees for our customers, as well as making best use of experience and lessons learnt to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. We’ll be guiding trusts through the implementation process with user forums and best practice guides.
Is Atamis replacing NHS LPP’s ProContract platform?
Yes, all NHS LPP member trusts will need to be migrated to the new system by September so we’re encouraging people to get in touch with us now, to allow enough time for a stress-free transition.
Any final thoughts?
The migration to Atamis is a great opportunity to not only move to a system that better suits the evolving NHS landscape, but also to finally realise the real strength of our purchasing power. A number of NHS LPP members have already made the move to the Atamis system and we look forward to helping others.
Atamis has produced an introductory video outlining how the system can help with tender management, contract management and supplier relationship management.
For more information on the rollout of Atamis to health organisations and implementing the system at your trust, please contact: Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org