Awarded to Softwire Technology Limited

Start date: Monday 18 November 2019
Value: £350,000
Company size: SME
Public Health England

Cancer Analysis System (CAS) Upgrade

9 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 3 large

12 Completed applications

8 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Monday 2 September 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 9 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 16 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) supports cancer epidemiology, public health, service monitoring and research.
NCRAS needs to perform Discovery and potentially other phases to explore, ascertain and upgrade the existing Cancer Analysis System (CAS) according to key users’ priorities and in sympathy with the parent system.
Latest start date
Monday 4 November 2019
Expected contract length
18 months (1.5 years) for all phases. Discovery likely to take 8 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Public Health England
Budget range
£60,000 including VAT (for Discovery only). Subsequent phases will be determined by Discovery Outcomes and budgetary approvals for remaining phases.

The project must be completed by end of March 2021.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Cancer Analysis System (CAS) is comprised of a number of relational databases which hold detailed (mainly confidential) cancer datasets providing rich data to better understand and interpret cancer data. The system now needs to be updated and modernised to ensure that it can receive and efficiently link cancer data from a variety of data sources and provide timely reports for analysts, quality assurance staff and others including external academic and health audiences as required with optimum efficiency for data collection, management and analysis.
Problem to be solved
Data are in relational tables. Data ingestion and analytical operations are therefore slow. Aim: Provide efficiencies by reducing the amount of time spent by analysts and developers to interrogate and manipulate data and provide a less resource intensive operational system.
The key interface will be with the PHE National Disease Registration (NDR) IT team to provide strategic direction and implement the upgrade. The NDR ICT team built the CAS, as a repository to directly hold cancer data as well as data originating in the EnCORE system. EnCORE/CATRIN holds cancer registration data for all cancer patients in England and Wales respectively.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The primary users are approximately 140 PHE and Partnership analysts and a small technical team of database administrators and developers. The analysts use the CAS to link and extract mainly confidential data to conduct a wide range of analyses that meet organisational objectives. They also provide core data for a number of external audits, academic and professional papers etc. The team of DBAs and developers run and maintain the CAS. The team anonymises, extracts, uploads and processes data for use by analysts.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The successful supplier will primarily be working with the CAS Programme Manager, CAS project team and the NDR IT team.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work can be performed from any location but is likely to be co-ordinated by staff in PHE’s Offices
Working arrangements
Work may be carried out from multiple locations including the Supplier’s offices unless access to confidential patient data is required. Attendance at PHE Offices in London and in other locations around England will be required for meetings. Supplier staff are expected to be on-site at PHE locations sufficient to manage relationships with senior stakeholders; the project team and users; and, stakeholders and users in other organisations so that the outcomes of the project may be met.
Security clearance
Not required

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • For questions where experience or a case study is asked for, please ensure a date of previous projects cited is provided. Case studies must be a maximum of 500 words.
  • E1) Demonstrate recent (within 3 years) experience in conducting the discovery phase relating to usage of digital/technology solutions in similar specialist/data analysis projects, including a link to a case study.
  • E2) Demonstrate recent (within 3 years) experience of applying the principles of user centred design to the development of IT database solutions.
  • E3) Demonstrate recent (within 3 years) experience of designing and/or assessing digital tools to meet the needs of users in Discovery and all other phases of a project.
  • E4) Demonstrate recent (within 3 years) experience of designing systems to manage personally identifying information under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • E5) Demonstrate recent (within 3 years) experience of comparing relational, NoSQL and other data store technologies and implementing review findings including data migration, cleansing etc.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • N1) Recent experience (within the last 3 years) of working with national public sector healthcare organisations.
  • N2) Recent experience (within the last 3 years) of working with interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary project teams including health analysts and research science project members.
  • N3) Experience in working with open standards shared technologies
  • N4) Experience in designing a road map for the development of an internal shared digital service

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • P1) Approach to User Research in Discovery and other project phases (should they be awarded to you) including assessing user needs, user journeys and process mapping (15 points)
  • P2) Approach to Discovery and other project phases (should they be awarded to you) determining and demonstrating which technological tools can be used to meet project objectives (15 points)
  • P3) Approach to balancing user needs with technological solutions especially regarding data security, confidentiality and analytics (30 points)
Cultural fit criteria
  • C1) Demonstrate how you would work with the project team’s stakeholders including analysts who have varying experience of agile methods (4 points)
  • C2) Demonstrate how you would work within the constraints of existing services, budgets and infrastructures already used within the programme (6 points)
  • C3) Demonstrate how you would apply open innovation that explores a wide range of technical solutions and conclusions (6 points)
  • C4) Demonstrate your approach to knowledge transfer throughout the duration of the project (4 points)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. 1 - You state that answers need to be case studies of no more than 500 words, however the word limit in the response boxes are the standard 100 word limit for DoS. Please can you clarify.
This refers to question E1 where it asks for a link to a case study i.e. the case study on this link should not be more than 500 words.
2. 2 - Also the first response box is below your Response format description. Suppliers will have to enter something in here even if there isn't anything to answer. Please can you confirm N/A will be appropriate here
Yes. N/A should be entered.
3. 3 - The online application system only allows for 100-word answers. Please can you confirm the first bullet point: For questions where experience or a case study is asked for, please ensure a date of previous projects cited is provided. Case studies must be a maximum of 500 words.
Please refer to question 1
4. 4 - Please can you clarify what response you expect for the first question, as this question outlines expectation how to demonstrate experience and case study
Please refer to question 1
5. 5 - Can you also confirm what is expected for case studies as the word limit for each question is 100 words?
Please refer to question 1
6. 6 - Please could you confirm how you wish suppliers to provide case studies for Essential Q1 as suppliers only have a word limit of 100 words per question.
Please refer to question 1
7. 7 - Can you please confirm if this requirement is subject to any Purdah rules, should there be a General Election?
At the moment no confirmation can be declared until official guidance is announced regarding any such event occurring. Specific guidance and codes of conduct are released for each exclusive Purdah duration.
Past guidance and code of conduct can be found at
8. 8 - With regard to E1's 'link to a case study', are you looking for an answer consisting of only a link to a case study – or instead an answer plus a link to a case study? If the latter, should the answer and case study refer to the same example?
We are looking for an answer to the question and a link to a case study. It is up to the suppliers to determine if the case study used is the same example or a different one.
9. 9 - Please could you clarify what you mean by 'open standard shared technologies'? Does this mean 'open standards-based data sharing technologies' or something else?
Yes this means open standards-based data sharing technologies which is made available to the general public.
More information can be found on -
10. 10 - To avoid using up the valuable 100 words with the case study hyperlink, can the 500 word case studies please be emailed to you separately as is the process on other Digital Marketplace Ops where they ask for supporting material?
This will not be possible. However, a hyperlink will count as 1 word on the Digital Marketplace within the answer section.