The supplier will work for NHS England, as part of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC).

User-Centric Development of an Online Health Innovation Platform for the NHS – Alpha

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
30 SME, 5 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
4 SME, 0 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 9 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 16 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 23 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A supplier is needed to deliver the required user research; develop and deliver wireframes and a demonstrable prototype for an online support tool solution for health innovators and innovation-focused support organisations. This will include prototypes of the ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’ functionalities of the solution.
Latest start date Sunday 1 March 2020
Expected contract length The project is expected to last for 3 months.
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for The supplier will work for NHS England, as part of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC).
Budget range The expected cost of developing the alpha prototype is maximum £125,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done A 2018 review into the health innovation landscape highlighted a lack of cohesion and unnecessary complexity, with innovators of new products unclear on how to navigate the innovation pathway, from research through to adoption and spread into the NHS. Finding a solution is a top ministerial priority and one of the six key priorities of the AAC.

An enhanced navigation experience for innovators will make it easier for them to receive the support they need to accelerate product development, facilitating NHS uptake of innovative solutions. This will deliver better patient outcomes and support the growth of the Life Sciences sector.
Problem to be solved The innovation ecosystem is seen as unnecessarily complex and disjointed, with many innovators and other stakeholders finding it difficult to know who can provide them with guidance and support to navigate the innovation pathway. They are unclear as to when they should be engaging with stakeholders and unsure as to incumbent support systems best placed to meet their needs.

Work is required to effectively map the innovation ecosystem and link existing support systems, such as Health Tech Connect and the AHSN Innovation Exchange, into a solution that would act as the ‘single-front door’ to the innovation ecosystem.
Who the users are and what they need to do Currently, we anticipate two core groups of users:
1. Innovators developing products for the NHS who will use the solution to:
• Navigate a clearer innovation pathway across Health & Care
• Triage products for suitability, need (including access to data) and spread
• Use a single source for information, tools and support to aid progression
• Connect with relevant health system organisations at the right time

2. Health system organisations who will use the solution to:
• View active innovations, saving time in commissioning and development
• Understand innovators and products in the pipeline
• Connect with the wider ecosystem and those innovators requiring support
Early market engagement As mentioned above, a 2018 review into the innovation ecosystem identified the lack of clarity faced by innovators when navigating the innovation pathway. To consolidate the findings of this review, focus groups were held in mid-2019 to hear first-hand the problems faced by those looking to navigate the innovation pathway. These focus groups helped shape the early hypothesis for the functionality of the solution. As part of the alpha development, significant further user research is planned.

NHSX’s engagement with innovators has also identified three primary pressure points for innovators: commonality of standards; consistent evaluation frameworks and a clear pathway to procurement. Much of these frustrations are borne out of misalignment and lack of cohesive information across the system.

From the perspective of the health system organisations, significant engagement has taken place with key stakeholders contributing to the current innovation ecosystem. This engagement has focused on receiving feedback on the early hypothesis for the functionality of the solution, as well as collating additional information on stakeholders overlooked who could be an important project partner. Continued engagement is essential for this project due to the importance of the solution bringing existing infrastructure together across the health system.
Any work that’s already been done From early-stage user research and engagement, the AAC formally agreed in November 2019 that the solution should deliver two main components:
1. An open ‘broadcast’ resource focussing on information provision
2. A ‘marketplace’ resource that facilitates the connection of registered users with existing support structures.

The work below is highly relevant to this project:
● Health Tech Connect
● Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems operated by AHSNs, some purpose-built
● AHSN Innovation Exchange
● Range of information and tools provided by regulators and others across the innovation pathway.

Some organisations plan to link their work into our solution’s development.
Existing team The ‘Innovation Portal’ is a project lead and managed by the AAC which reports into the AAC Steering Group (chaired by the AAC CEO) and from there into the AAC Board (chaired by Lord Darzi).

The project has an operational working group including team members from many of the organisations which make up the AAC, including NHS England, Office for Life Sciences, NHSX, the AHSNs and NICE. Close connections have been established with the assurance teams within the Government Digital Service (GDS) to ensure that necessary approval is received when progressing through the project lifecycle.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The working group are based across the UK, including in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. Key governance meetings for the AAC occur in London, typically in Skipton House (Elephant & Castle). Whilst there will be a need to hold regular catch ups to understand how development of the alpha prototype is progressing, there is no expectation that this work needs to take place in London. However, the supplier must be willing to travel to London to hold regular face-to-face catch ups.
Working arrangements The working group meet on a weekly basis, alongside a more extensive monthly meeting, where other key stakeholders get together to drive forward areas of work identified as a priority.

The supplier will work closely with this team. The team’s focus will be on the development of materials, logic processes and tools relevant to the solution, while guiding the solution’s design and build.

The supplier would be expected to join the weekly and monthly meetings and work closely with colleagues from NHSX to ensure that the Technology Code of Practise is adhered to when developing the alpha prototype.
Security clearance BPSS is desirable (not essential) as this is the security clearance necessary to enable the supplier to be unescorted in 1 Victoria Street, 39 Victoria Street and Skipton House, the main work areas in London.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions N/A at this stage

Skills and experience

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

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) where you have delivered user-centric web-design supported by conducting user research.
  • Demonstrate experience working within health and a demonstrated understanding of the challenges faced by innovators navigating the innovation pathway
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) experience with management of information governance / intellectual property in complex settings.
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) of where you have used the Government Service Manual and Technology Code of Practice, delivering APIs to Government Standards -
Nice-to-have skills and experience Demonstrate experience working with, and/or an understanding of the health innovation ecosystem, including the key players within this ecosystem (AHSNs, NICE, government, NHS England etc).

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 4
Proposal criteria
  • Clarity of approach and how the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How risks and dependencies have been identified and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure, including skills, experience and relevance of individuals
  • Experience of the method of working from previous projects, including a flexible approach demonstrating agile practices
  • Timescales to deliver the project
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you work as a team with our organisation and other stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate how you are transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

No questions have been answered yet

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Thursday 16 January 2020.