Our framework agreement enables health and social care organisations in the UK to buy medical and healthcare knowledge resources.

You can use it to buy:

  • Journals.
  • Books.
  • Databases, including:
    • abstracting and indexing or bibliographic databases
    • full text databases
    • electronic reference works
    • online anatomy resources.
  • Evidence summaries that provide comprehensive evidence and actionable knowledge.

Content resources are available from a range of subject areas, including:

  • medicine
  • nursing
  • allied health
  • health services management
  • public health
  • psychiatry and psychology
  • social care
  • complementary medicine
  • pharmacy.

Other health and social care subject areas may also be available.

Content purchased through the framework is subject to normal public sector procurement rules and your local standing financial institutions.

Benefits of using the framework

  • Simplified procurement process offers a compliant route to market for buyers.
  • Faster and easier than a full tender process.
  • No negotiations on terms required - pre-agreed terms for standard public sector clauses and NHS specific licensing terms for best value.
  • Speeds up purchasing.
  • Easy to use and understand.
  • Variety of provider types.

Buying content

  1. Check the list of eligible organisations to make sure you can use the framework.
  2. Get advice from your procurement team before using the this framework.
    Resources purchased are subject to normal public sector procurement rules and your local standing financial institutions.
  3. Draft and agree any requirements. Get any internal approval to purchase.
  4. This framework can be accessed by direct award or further competition.
    For both purchasing routes, buyers will enter a call off agreement with the provider. This gives buyers access to the services of the framework. There is not a minimum spend.
    The agreement is made up of:
    • the call off order form
    • terms and conditions
    • health and social care content licence or
      the agent agreement and the relevant publisher licence. For print purchases only the agent agreement is needed.

Direct award

Call offs under direct award can only be completed when:

  • the required knowledge resource and any associated service is provided by a single supplier. Lot 1: Sole Supplier is provided for this purpose.
  • the buyer has checked the current list of sole supplied titles. Only those titles or collections listed may be purchased under Lot 1: Sole Supplier of this framework.

Only distinct journal and book collections can be purchased from Lot 1.

Further competition

You should award on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender. Providers must be given the methodology used to assess tenders, including the evaluation criteria and weightings applied.

Further competition for Lot 2: Print Books, Lot 3: Electronic Books, Lot 4: Print and Electronic Journals can be a mini competition for either:

  • each purchase between the capable providers in a Lot
  • one provider in a Lot for a set period of time. During this period buyers can make call offs from the provider without any further competition.

For Lot 5: Databases and Evidence Summaries, a mini-competition for each purchase must take place between the capable providers.

Providers, products and services

There are 18 providers appointed to the framework. They are either:

  • agents - booksellers and subscription agents
  • non-agents - providers who own, or are licensed to provide access to, the intellectual property of the resources.

Framework help

You can email us at contactus@evidence.nhs.uk.


The framework is provided by NICE on behalf of Health Education England.

Framework details

Agreement code and contract number: NICEFAHEE/2125

Start date: 1 June 2021

End date: 31 May 2024

Lots: 5

Suppliers: 18

Framework documents

Health and social care content (HSCC) licence agreement

Call off order form

Call off terms and conditions