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.
The government is encouraging technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply to the public sector via a new marketplace for health and social care providers.
With a new Dynamic Purchasing System, created by NHS Digital and the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), now live, Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) services can enable health professionals to communicate and share information, delivering efficient, effective public services that meet the needs of citizens.
HSCN, which succeeded the New National network, could be worth up to £500 million over the next six and a half years.
Niall Quinn, CCS strategic director for Technology, said: “We aim to create a vibrant and dynamic marketplace that increases choice for health and care providers while encouraging competition between a greater number and range of suppliers, including SMEs.”
Dermot Ryan, HSCN programme director, added: “Creating a competitive market for network services in health and social care, to drive both product innovation and value for money, has been an ambition of the HSCN programme since the outset. Working in partnership with Crown Commercial Service, the establishment of the HSCN dynamic purchasing system is a significant part of realising this ambition. The DPS will promote the formation of a thriving market in HSCN services and provide health and social care customers with an easy to use, low risk way of procuring compliant services.”