Awarded to Lagom Strategy Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 6 November 2019
Value: £40,900
Company size: SME
Department of Health and Social Care

Clinical Excellence Awards - Online Application System and Awards Database - Discovery

18 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 2 large

24 Completed applications

20 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
We are looking for a team to conduct a Discovery exercise to identify what we need and what solutions available to support our 2,500 customers and our £136m scheme more effectively, replacing our outmoded IT system and continuing to ensure that excellence in the NHS is properly rewarded.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length
Minimum 8 weeks
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department of Health and Social Care
Budget range
The maximum budget is £50,000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards operates the £136m national Clinical Excellence Awards (CEA) scheme. It advises Department of Health and Social Care Ministers and the Welsh Government on the granting of monetary awards to the most senior doctors and dentists in the NHS.

ACCEA runs its competition through an online portal. A browser-based application, it allows consultants to apply; employers to sign off applications; and scorers to score applications. It enables ACCEA to calculate payments due and to report statistics. It also acts as our database of all awards. But, it's twelve years old and needs replacing.
Problem to be solved
The current system, is no longer fit-for-purpose:

• some components are at risk of falling out of service
• we experience numerous unforeseen bugs
• it does not contain a content management system, so even textual changes must be referred to our contractors
• data management for statistical analysis is unnecessarily difficult, risking inaccurate reporting
• it predates GDPR and does not enable data subject rights
• it does not meet modern industry standards, such as the Government Digital Service Standards, meaning it lags behind in terms of usability, accessibility and value-for-money.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an administrator, need to:
• manage application process
• set timetables and access permissions
• access and manage database
• produce statistics and reports.

As an applicant and busy senior clinician, need to:
• intuitively navigate and complete online form
• access, download, amend and withdraw my data.

As an employer, need to:
• rate and sign-off applications
• know who has an award and how much is payable
• learn when an award-holder moves to my organisation
• report when award-holder leaves or retires.

As a volunteer scorer, need to access records and score applications reliably and efficiently.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The successful supplier will be given a key contact within ACCEA. We would also put the successful supplier in touch with the incumbent infrastructure providers, Navisite, to acquire technical information about the existing system.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The ACCEA Secretariat is based in Quarry House, Leeds,
Working arrangements
Following an initial face-to-face meeting, the supplier will work remotely, running the Discovery phase and liaising with their ACCEA contact. They will report weekly on progress. Expenses will not be claimable.
Security clearance
Baseline Personnel Security Standard check

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
  • Experience in surveying user need
  • Experience in evaluating user need feedback
  • Experience in creating technical specifications
  • Experience of working with public sector clients
  • Examples of innovative thinking
  • Examples of identifying process efficiencies
  • Strong knowledge of IT solutions
  • Strong understanding of the technology markets
  • Strong understanding of data protection legislation
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working to the Government Digital Standards
  • Experience of working with Government Departments
  • An understanding of NHS IT systems

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Detail the roles of the people on the discovery team and the experience they will bring to the project
  • Detail how you will ensure user needs are understood and met in the development and delivery of the service
  • Tell us how you would tailor your conversations and evidence gathering to suit the audience
  • Detail what your discovery report would look like and how you will ensure the outputs can be used for any potential Alpha phase
  • Detail how you will work at pace, delivering to the agreed timetable
Cultural fit criteria
  • be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • be friendly and constructive when working with stakeholders
  • be communicative
  • be resilient to challenge and obstacle
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. For "Strong understanding of the technology markets", could you please confirm if the Authority is looking for any specific technology markets?
We are looking for a supplier with a strong market understanding so that any key technological options, opportunities and restrictions are identified within the report on the discovery phase findings.
2. Could you please provide details for the expected IT solution?
The discovery exercise will help us to determine what users need and a range of possible technical options to meet that need. These options will then be further refined within the next stage of this project to identify the preferred technical solution(s).
3. Is the budget inclusive of VAT, or exclusive of VAT?
The budget is inclusive of VAT.
4. Unfortunately we missed the teleconference, is it possible to access an overview of what was discussed?
All questions and answers from the teleconference will be published on this platform.
5. From the teleconference: What’s the existing system built in? Is it a bespoke system?
The system comprises a Visual Basic NET user interface at the front-end and an Oracle Database at the back-end, incorporating a few additional applets / plug-ins e.g. to generate PDFs. It is a bespoke system developed by Sapient.
6. From the teleconference: Are you looking to move towards Government sanctioned hosting?
The front end of the system is already cloud-hosted and the back end, for licensing reasons, is hosted on proprietary servers. Navisite provides this infrastructure.
7. From the teleconference: Will you want to transfer existing data onto the new system?
We are looking to reform the national Clinical Excellence Award scheme, so If there was a way to manage the legacy data then this would be an advantage. Although we’d like to avoid it, there may need to be some double-running of the existing and new systems as we transition between current and reformed Clinical Excellence Award schemes.
8. From the teleconference: Are payments carried out via the system or are they done separately?
A spreadsheet is generated from the system detailing the payment amounts, but this doesn’t ‘talk’ to anyone. The details have to be cascaded to Trusts for payments to be made.
9. From the teleconference: Would you be looking to improve the Clinical Excellence Award payment process, or would this be out of scope?
It would be part of the discovery exercise to identify what improvements/ functionality system users want.
10. From the teleconference: Will DHSC facilitate access to the users of the system?
We cannot give any commitments at this stage as to the extent to which DHSC can facilitate access to system users.
11. From the teleconference: Do you have any examples of the types of statistics / reports you would be looking to get from the system?
Examples include: diversity monitoring reports; how long awards have been held; how long it takes to be promoted to the next award level.
12. From the teleconference: Is there a list available of the things that don’t work in the current system, or things that you would like the system to do but doesn’t?
Not at this time. Bugs most often occur as a result of changing system functionality. We have taken the decision not to make any further significant changes so that bugs can be avoided whilst we work to replace the current system.
13. From the teleconference: Are you looking to give or improve access to the system on mobile devices?
The system is not public-facing so is not bound by Government Digital Service Standards and Technology Code of Practice. However, we would be looking to these Standards as industry best practice e.g. by testing for usage on iOS or Android devices. We are starting to encounter issues with compatibility of the current system’s plug-ins with some devices.
14. From the teleconference: You have stated 8 weeks as a minimum contract, do you have a maximum contract length in mind or is there a fixed deadline for the discovery?
We would be looking to suppliers to present what they can do with the budget available.
15. From the teleconference: Can we see the current system prior to contract award?
No, as it contains personal information, only the successful supplier will be shown the current system.
16. From the teleconference: Where can we find further information about the Clinical Excellence Award Scheme?
Further information can be found at:
17. Examples of innovative thinking" – are you expecting examples of ways we've used innovative thinking to provide a technological solution to a client? If not, clarification would be greatly appreciated. Also how many examples are expected for full marks?
Yes, but in relation to a discovery process. It’s for the participating suppliers to establish if their experience and capability here is best demonstrated via one or more examples.
18. Has a technology platform and/or environment been chosen or is any one preferred?
The discovery exercise will help us to determine what users need and a range of possible technical options to meet that need. These options will then be further refined within the next stage of this project to identify the preferred technical solution(s).