While 3D printing is becoming more widely used in general engineering the use of 3D printing in the medical and allied sectors such as dentistry has only just begun.
Procuring external suppliers can often be a complex and lengthy process for the public sector. But with the help of the Mouchel Consortium, the process can be simplifiedThe public sector is under increasing pressure to deliver ever better and more efficient services using far fewer resources while satisfying growing legislative and governance requirements.
Working in this environment, it is no surprise that procuring external suppliers can often be a complex and lengthy process. Public sector organisations need to demonstrate that their budgets are being spent wisely on suitable suppliers and systems that can reliably deliver the goods both on time and competitively.
A unique resource
The Mouchel Consortium, formerly known as the Hedra Consortium (Mouchel acquired Hedra in March 2008) is helping the public sector to meet these very real needs. It is designed to address the specific challenges of the public sector environment and to help organisations deliver positive outcomes for priority issues.
Alongside Mouchel, the consortium’s prime contractor, consortium members comprise a number of recognised UK and international service providers including Adobe, Axon, COA Solutions, 2e2, Epic, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Netstore, Open Text, SAP, SAS and Valtech.
The expertise and experience found within the consortium gives it an unrivalled ability to offer customers integrated end-to-end IT solutions and value for money on projects. The consortium can help with everything from providing advice on a project’s vision, objectives and governance, designing, building and implementing the chosen business or technology solution through to offering continuing post-implementation support.
According to Darren Hunt, senior director of the Mouchel Consortium, the partnership model is one of the consortium’s greatest strengths: “Our reliance on a family of partners allows us to be very flexible and to meet market demand in a variety of ways. We can be a one-stop shop on very complex mid-sized projects and we can also take on parts of bigger projects. The quality of our partners means that there are no weak links in our value chain: whatever our customers require we can always provide a best-of-breed solution.”
One of the most important roles of the consortium is connecting customers with the most suitable suppliers and providing organisations, such as local authorities and government agencies, with access to technology they would otherwise have difficulty tapping into on their own.
Mouchel Consortium’s position on the OGCbuying.solutions’ Catalist framework also has the advantage of making the procurement process much simpler. The Catalist framework is a contractual vehicle that allows public sector clients to buy services more quickly and cost effectively by offering a shortlist of accredited suppliers who compete against each other for individual contracts. All suppliers must meet certain criteria demonstrating quality and value for money.
Mouchel is an accredited Catalist Specialist Solutions supplier for: application development; customer relationship management; electronic document and records management; enterprise resource planning; web design and content management; and eTransactions. The consortium has developed a range of solution services within these Catalist areas, all designed specifically for Catalist customers.
As there are no pre-set limits on the value of solutions that can be procured, Catalist is suitable for projects of all sizes. It has also been designed for complete compliance with EU procurement directives and UK legislation.
Epic: improving information governance
Following several high-profile incidents where sensitive data has been lost, the government recognised the need to improve its data-handling procedures within its departments. The outcome has been the introduction of a framework to improve information governance within the public sector.
The new information governance framework aims to enhance the consistency of data protection, to get the right working culture in place and to improve accountability and scrutiny of data management performance. To be successful, data sharing between departments must be managed properly.
While the Cabinet Office is tasked with setting cross-government standards for the implementation of the framework, individual departments are responsible for their own arrangements. The NHS, for example, used the Catalist framework to appoint Mouchel Consortium member Epic, which specialises in training solutions, to help it develop a customised e-learning service to train staff associated with its Connecting for Health (CFH) programme in the new information governance requirements.
With a national workforce of more than 1.5m people, CFH needed a scalable and flexible training tool to communicate the new requirements, to develop the necessary skills and to change attitudes within its many organisations and locations as quickly as possible.
Working in collaboration with CFH, Epic developed a customised Information Governance Training Tool (IGTT) to give staff in all NHS CFH and social care organisations access to e-learning on information governance. The application was supported by offline resources, such as tutor-support materials and round-the-clock technical support from an Epic service desk.
Epic developed IGTT specifically for its audience, incorporating modular flexibility, context-specific content and comprehensive management information.
The flexible management system allows learners and trainers to select personalised routes for learning, assessment, guidance resources and reference, which means the training experience can be matched to role requirements. Engaging real-world case studies provides users with realistic and relevant examples of how information governance affects their day-to-day working lives. Bespoke reporting facilities make it possible to track and measure usage (and non-usage) for compliance purposes and take any action required.
The project has been a great success. User feedback at all levels of the organisation has been consistently positive, with frequent reference to how the application makes a potentially daunting requirement easy to understand and follow. The tool’s flexibility has also been acclaimed, as it allows users to work from home and revisit modules to refresh their understanding.
Following the success of the initial phases, Epic has now been awarded a two-year contract to design and develop the next phase of IGTT, to provide more content for an expanded user community. Epic account manager Sarah Axon believes that because it is fit for purpose it could become a standard solution within the industry:
“We’re pleased with the performance of IGTT and the results it has achieved for the NHS. This unique project could form the basis of a long-term improvement in information governance throughout the health and social care sector.”
Commenting on the Mouchel Consortium, Tracy Capaldi-Drewett, Epic's commercial director, says: “Working as part of the consortium has been an immensely productive and enjoyable experience. Our creative and learning skills complement the management consultancy and systems expertise brought by other members of the consortium. Our learning programmes and websites ensure that our clients' workforces are well prepared and engaged by new initiatives. We are looking forward to building on the success of the consortium in 2009.”
For more information
To find out more about the solutions capability of the Mouchel Consortium, please visit www.mouchel.com.