Department of Health and Social Care
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Seal of approval to improve health and social care information

Seal of approval to improve health and social care information

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 15 October 2008

The Department of Health has gone out to tender to find an independent operator for its new scheme to provide a seal of approval ensuring health and social care information is reliable.

The new national scheme will provide a "seal of approval" that will assure people the information they use when making choices about their health and care comes from a reliable source. The scheme will have a broad impact, allowing the quality mark to feature on information in any format - from websites to pamphlets.

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Services said:- "Ensuring that patients have access to reliable information is paramount in maintaining patient choice and quality of care. This scheme and the quality mark will help reassure people that health information available to them is trustworthy."

This scheme is also in line with Lord Darzi's Next Stage Review, which seeks to 'empower patients with greater choice, better information, and more control and influence.'

Working with United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the successful supplier will deliver a robust and credible scheme. Jane Beaumont, Director of Accreditation at UKAS said: "We are delighted to be working with the Department of Health to take forward this ground-breaking scheme for health and social care information.

"Our position as the government-recognised UK accreditation body enables us to contribute a wealth of expertise to deliver a robust scheme that helps provide reassurance to the public."

The scheme will be launched in Summer 2009.

Note to Editors:

1. The tender commenced on 11 October 2008 and is expected to last aproximately 6 months

2. The Department of Health will give a presentation on 21 October 2008 at its offices in Skipton House, London to provide more information about the scheme and the procurement. Hard copies of the presentation will be available for those who cannot attend. Organisations wishing to attend should register their interest through the Department's e-tendering portal: https://http://www.showa.dh.gov.uk/OA_HTML/DHSupplierRegistration.jsp

3. More information on the scheme, including the Standard and a research summary is available on the Department of Health website at <http://www.dh.gov.uk/accreditation>.

4. Organisations wishing to express an interest in this procurement should register with the DH supplier e-tendering portal https://http://www.showa.dh.gov.uk/OA_HTML/DHSupplierRegistration.jsp where a Contract Notice and Pre-Qualification Questionnaire are available. Expressions of interest should be sent no later than noon on 17 November. The DH reserves the right to refuse any expressions of interest received after this date.

5. The successful supplier will be responsible for business functions of the service, so will need to have a track record of delivery demonstrating credibility across both health and social care information in order to deliver the scheme effectively.

6. The Department of Health is searching for an innovative service provider who can develop the scheme into a self-sustaining business model and potentially assume ownership.

7. The expected value of the procurement is between £3m and £6.5m. The contract is for an initial period of 3 years, with the potential for a further 2-year extension

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