A contract for ICT services worth nearly a quarter of a billion pounds has been tendered by the NHS as part of its procurement transformation plan.

The tender for the technology component of the new procurement “future operating model” was published last month by the Official Journal of the EU, with bids accepted until July 13.

The contract, which has an estimated value of £248.8m, is one of several being put out to tender by the NHS Business Services Authority ahead of its existing deal with NHS Supply Chain expiring in September 2018.

The deal will last four years, with an option of a two year extension.

Up to six potential providers will be invited to submit “outline solutions”, before four bidders are selected to submit final tenders.

The contract is expected to be awarded in early 2018, following a “competitive dialogue process through this year”, according to a future operating model update by the Department of Health.

“This will allow for a six month transition to take over the full service in October 2018,” it said.

The DH is currently scrutinising bids for six of the 11 category towers, which were received in May.

A DH spokesman said preferred bidders would be announced by September 2017.

He also confirmed tenders for the final two components of the future operating model – logistics and transactional services – would be published in September and November respectively, “subject to completion of internal approvals”.