Awarded to Torchbox Ltd

Start date: Monday 17 February 2020
Value: £150,000
Company size: SME
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Website redeveloment project

30 Incomplete applications

28 SME, 2 large

25 Completed applications

23 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 6 December 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 13 December 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 20 December 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Redevelopment of the Trust's main public-facing website, including: discovery, design, build and implementation in year one and hosting, maintenance and support in year two. Plus road map for integration of Trust micro sites on to a single platform.
Latest start date
Monday 16 March 2020
Expected contract length
24 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Budget range
Up to 150k over the duration of the project. To include delivery of all requirements of the initial site development, and the hosting, maintenance and support over the 24 month period.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our website is a key communications tool, often the first point of contact for information about the Trust. It is important that we deliver a responsive website that is informative, easy to navigate and useful for patients and other stakeholders.

It must be modern, easy to understand and a consistent experience for those engaging with our services online, creating an environment that allows easier collaboration with our people and hospital.

It must also reflect the emotion that comes with the hospital, providing reassurance both to patients, families and carers, and deliver a road map for other Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) websites to be integrated onto the platform in the future.
Problem to be solved
Originally launched in 2008, it was at the time a good example of a clean, well-organised website that enabled the Trust to showcase work from across departments alongside access to advice and support content. The organic growth has resulted in an inconsistent and confusing experience for our user.

We want to redevelop our site using open source and open standards in order to offer an improved experience for our users, improved performance on multiple devices, effective use (integration) of national content provided by NHS Digital, Compliance with GDPR and EU accessibility standards.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The website must provide a solution that enables patients to find out how to get to appointments using way-finding tools.

Information about the individual/service/department in charge of care.
Access to local community services directory to help with recovery, health and well-being.

Advice and information about conditions at a time that suits them (24/7). They should be able say how they are feeling and what concerns are so that they can receive information to help them understand condition and reduce anxiety.

Patients need to be able to self-refer online to help departments manage bookings effectively.

People wanting to get in touch with CUH must be able to do so in a secure way.

We want to show our patients what kind of research we do and why it matters, so that they are confident and willing to take part in medical research studies.

We want to demonstrate to clinicians, academics and researchers that CUH has a thriving research portfolio to attract them to come and work here.

We want to demonstrate to potential biomedical industry that CUH runs effective and efficient research programmes and is therefore good to partner with/invest in.
Early market engagement
We have had some initial conversations with suppliers of other NHS websites to find out more about websites and specifically the Content Management Systems that power the websites.
Any work that’s already been done
We have undertaken an initial user research as part of the discovery phase of this project to understand what type of website we need to deliver to best serve our audiences. We have engaged with patients, visitors, families, internal stakeholders and partners through an online survey, face-to-face workshops and individual conversations to inform the specification of a new CUH website. In addition, we have researched other organisations including NHS and public sector organisations to develop a good understanding of the level of opportunity for The Trust.
Existing team
The website is managed by a small in-house Digital communications team. The supplier will be working with this team to complete the project.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ
Working arrangements
Mainly off-site, with visits to our offices as required by the project.
Security clearance
Not required

Additional information

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 full life-cycle of the development of large, public-facing, responsive websites using open-source technology and open standards (discovery, stakeholder management, design, build, content creation, site launch, hosting, maintenance, support)
  • Full service digital agency with a full range of roles including IA, UX, technical, content strategy, project management, analytics, SEO
  • Experience of delivering innovative website projects that have transformed the online experience for users, balancing function with creativity and modern design to set the website apart from others
  • Evidence of creating content and imagery that supports and enhances design by capturing the emotion of a particular subject, providing reassurance to those people using hospital services online
  • Experience of working with large NHS or public-sector organisations and knowledge of the health technology environment
  • Demonstrable examples of long-term (3+ years) relationships with satisfied clients
  • Excellent knowledge of the 'open source' content management system market with a client-centered approach to CMS selection
  • Evidence of developing sites which comply with WCAG 2.0 and GDPR regulations, together with knowledge of WCAG 2.1 and EU regulations for public sector websites
  • Evidence of designing websites which support digital inclusion
  • Evidence of creating content which optimises engagement and meets effective standards of usability and accessibility
  • Experience of creating website brand guidelines that set tone of voice, content and image style that fits with an organisations corporate identity
  • Expert in setting up and optimising sites for continued improvement using Google analytics, heat mapping and other tools and in analysing results to deliver actionable insights
  • Expert SEO skills and the ability to advise on best practice, particularly around new search technologies e.g. conversational AI
  • Ability to deliver high quality but low technical maintenance websites
  • Experts in configuring and implementing effective on-site search tools
  • Evidence of delivering effective training on the use of the CMS
  • Evidence of successful integrations of websites with other applications
  • Evidence of hosting, supporting and maintaining websites, including offering a fully replicated development environment for testing upgrades and configuration changes
  • Evidence of developing websites that follow the principles of GDS and NHS Digital Service Manual
  • Evidence of creative and modern website design supported by a mobile first approach
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Knowledge of NHS identity guidelines and evolving technical standards from NHS Digital
  • Experience of delivering intranet projects of a similar scale
  • Expertise in the use of websites and digital channels to support recruitment
  • Experience of advising on and developing micro sites aligned to a parent site
  • Experience of delivering reusable templates that can be re-purposed and used on specific areas of a website
  • Experience of implementing third party accessibility and website governance software
  • Experience of using video, images and other media to enhance websites

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the approach meets our needs and those of our users
  • Previous experience of similar projects
  • Previous experience of working with NHS or public sector organisations
  • Team structure, roles and responsibilities, knowledge and experience
  • Costs and value for money
  • Proposed timescales and indicative project plan
  • Project management approach/methodology, including management of risks
  • Hosting, maintenance and support arrangements
Cultural fit criteria
  • Works as a team with our organisation and other suppliers where necessary
  • Ready to challenge the status quo
  • Champions equality, diversity and digital inclusion
  • Is innovative, creative and forward thinking
  • Shares knowledge and experience with clients
  • Provides honest and expert feedback
  • Uses innovative, cost effective techniques to engage website users
  • Takes responsibility for the quality of their work
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Works well with clients of varying technical expertise
  • Able to demonstrate the value of their approach and understands the value of data and analytics
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Do you have a preference of a CMS? I can see your current website is in Drupal. Would you favour an application using Drupal?
There is no preference for the CMS. We would prefer an Open Source platform.
2. Hi, you say you've had some initial conversations with suppliers of other NHS websites – can you share who those suppliers were and what the websites were?
When answering questions the digital marketplace requests we 'remove any reference to the supplier’s name or any confidential information about the supplier' - so we are unable to say.
3. You have stated that you will only evaluate 5 suppliers. Will this list of 5 be determined by the first 5 suppliers to respond? Will the 6th (and so on) supplier's response be taken into consideration?
We will complete the shortlisting of applications using the Digital Market Place framework and scoring. The top scoring suppliers (a maximum of five) will go through to the evaluation stage.
4. You list 20 criteria under essential skills. Our previous experience with Digital Marketplace is that opportunities listing this many essential skills has withdrawn the opportunity and then reset with a shorter list of criteria.

Is there any risk of such a scenario playing out here?
We are committed to finding the right supplier and the 20 essential skills will help us to do this. You can never be 100% certain but we hope that this criteria will enable us to find the right partner.
5. Could you please detail your expectations around content creation and content strategy and the responsibilities of your digital team and appointed agency.
We have a digital team that will be largely responsible for content creation. We do though expect to work closely with the appointed agency to inform the information architecture, content strategy and governance of our content moving forward.
6. Do you have existing offline brand guidelines that will inform the website brand guidelines to be delivered?
Yes we have a corporate identity for the Trust that will help inform the brand guidelines for the website.
7. Are you able to share the structure of your in-house Digital communications team with us?
We are small Digital Communications team compromising of six members. A head of digital communications, digital editor, digital content producer, 2 x digital officers and a digital apprentice.
8. Are you able to share your user research and discovery work to date with us?
We will be sharing this information with the successful supplier to help inform the discovery phase.
9. Will you be undergoing a GDS audit as part of the project?
If this is in relation to an accessibility audit as part of the process then we would expect the chosen supplier to ensure this happens through the process.

We also expect the supplier to provide a website that uses the NHS Digital Service Manual principles.
10. Your required skills include content creation services. Do you anticipate this budget being used to create new content as well as to complete the website design, build and hosting, or is that a future requirement?
No the content will be produced outside of this budget. We expect the supplier to guide us on effective ways to deliver our content to ensure it is inclusive and useful for our website visitors.
11. Do you need ongoing SEO and experience optimisation services? If so, will these and any additional projects beyond the initial website and its hosting and support have a separate budget, or is this your entire budget for the next two years?
We expect the CMS to have the tools in place to enable us to manage the SEO moving forward, but would expect the site to be optimised for SEO on launch.
12. For self-referrals, will this simply need to generate requests to individual departments, or will this need to interoperate with any broader systems such as the NHS e-RS system?
This is local to this Trust and will be generating requests to departments and services.
13. Where you have user needs such as the ability to get advice and information, to what extent do you anticipate these being delivered by global NHS systems such as 111?
We expect to use NHS API’s where appropriate to deliver certain types of content through our own website, and effective signposting where API's are not available.
14. Are there any back-end systems with which the website will have to integrate to provide functionality (e.g. staff log-in services, booking data – e.g. GP Connect, etc)?
The website currently has no integrations with back-end systems.
15. How much traffic does the website receive (both in an average month and at peak)?
There are approximately 400,000 visits a month on average.
Peak months we would see an increase to 600,000+ visits .
16. Are there examples of information signposting that you are particularly impressed by?
Discussions regarding inspiration and other elements we like will be discussed with the chosen supplier as part of the design phase of the project.
17. Are you planning a manual vetting, review and migration process for the site content, or is an automated migration of content in scope?
We will be manually reviewing content. There are no plans to automatically migrate content.
18. What back-office tasks do you envisage being reduced by a new site that efficiently delivers information to patients and visitors?
We hope to reduce time spent filling out various paper based forms as well as directing enquiries to the relevant departments through a series of questions. Resulting in a reduction in basic administration tasks.

We want to be able to create a knowledge hub that will provide data that enables us to learn from the questions being asked so that we can provide relevant answers to commonly asked questions.
19. Given the range of use cases people may visit the site, how do you envisage emotional support for those in high-stress situations?
We will use a knowledge hub that will be able to provide relevant answers based on what the person tells us so that we can provide support in such situations.

Internally we want to collect the data (anonymously) and use this to continually improve the answers that are given.
20. The tender mentions “experience of creating website brand guidelines” – would this be working to the existing corporate identity, or is the supplier expected to provide a redesign of the brand as part of the project?
We expect the supplier to use our existing corporate identity.
21. What are the key values you have that are a priority for the new site?
We want to create a modern, easy to understand and consistent experience for those wishing to engage with our services online. Building an environment that provides reassurance and a source of truth. Delivering a place that enables easier collaboration with our people and hospitals.
22. Can you please provide a timeline for the stages between proposal submission and project launch?
Shortlisted suppliers will be expected to provide a written proposal, any other relevant papers and a presentation by mid-January.
23. The tender mentions “a roadmap for Trust microsites”, is the integration of the microsites included in the £150K budget? If not please provide additional budget info.
We expect the CMS and templates provided to be reused to transition content from microsites on to the new website where applicable. This will be managed by us and is not included in the budget.

For sites that need to remain as standalone microsites we expect them to work from the same CMS platform installation, with as little development requirements as possible so that the internal team can manage this process.
24. Will the site need to integrate with third-party systems such as CRM or NHS-specific software? Please specify these.
No integrations are required.