Awarded to Valtech Ltd.

Start date: Thursday 12 March 2020
Value: £116,375
Company size: SME
NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA)

NHS Business Services Authority Website Discovery

12 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 2 large

19 Completed applications

18 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Thursday 30 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 6 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 13 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The NHSBSA requires a Supplier to work with us to perform a discovery to identify needs and opportunities for delivery of integrated digital services to the NHS workforce.
Latest start date
Monday 2 March 2020
Expected contract length
6 month contract. The discovery must be completed by 31/03/2020.
North East England
Organisation the work is for
NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA)
Budget range
The NHSBSA has a maximum budget of £150,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHSBSA website is the key interface for our users to access digital and non-digital services. This includes a wide range of non-functional content and caters for a diverse audience across service areas. We would benefit from having a discovery to propose a more scalable and rapid platform to support business needs and enable the NHSBSA to stand up new websites on demand. Importantly there also needs to be some in depth user research to fully understand our user needs to enable us to build fit for purpose websites. The Discovery needs to be completed before end of March 2019.
Problem to be solved
The NHSBSA is looking for a partner organisation to perform a discovery. This discovery is to investigate the user needs and opportunities for delivering an improved strategic website presence.
This should involve research with both internal and external stakeholders, including those from within the NHSBSA and customers from all service areas.
As well as capturing our user needs, the output should include recommendations of a suitable platform, improved content publishing methods and processes, website design and architecture.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Examples are:
As a provider of a public facing service, I need to provide clear and concise information, so that our service users find information quickly and easily that is easy to understand.
As a provider of a business to business service, I need to provide engaging and dynamic content, so I can compete in markets.
As a recruiter, I need to provide engaging and dynamic content, so I can help attract the best people to work for the NHSBSA.
As a patient on low income, I need to understand if I am eligible for financial help, so that I can afford my medication.

However we expect this discovery to draw out many more.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The existing team is the NHSBSA Digital and Online team supported by other colleagues from the Digital directorate.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Stella House
Goldcrest Way
Newburn Riverside
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE15 8NY

Other locations as required, for user research
Working arrangements
The Supplier will work as a part of the Digital and online team, they will be viewed as part of the overall NHSBSA Digital Delivery Directorate with a one team ethos. The NHSBSA follow Agile and GDS principles. It is expected that the successful supplier's people will work in this way.

The supplier's resources will be expected to work onsite at Stella House and travel as required/agreed.

The successful supplier must comply with relevant NHSBSA policies and standards.
Security clearance
Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

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
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of a discovery of similar scope and complexity to that of the NHSBSA website (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of working in a blended outcome based team consisting of a mix of supplier and NHSBSA team members.(2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of how, when delivering outcome based projects, you have supported the development of internal capability (leaving a positive legacy) (2%)
  • Demonstrate capability of user centre design capabilities, eg skills needed for a User Researcher. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience of exploratory qualitative research and leveraging insight from quantitative research. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of delivering digital discovery, alpha, beta, through to a future development cycle, in a Government or NHS environment. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of where you have delivered a discovery for a service where there are in excess of 2 million users (2%)
  • Demonstrate how you track progress of a project against the deliverables detailed in a Statement of Work. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience of recommending a technical solution that meets customer and business needs, having broken down complex user needs into clear requirements. (2%)
  • Demonstrate an undersanding of all standards associated with Government Digital Service (GDS), including accessability requirements WCAG AA 2.1 . (2%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence that you have in house capability (e.g. User Researcher) that have passed GDS assessment. (3%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of delivering a discovery that has resulted in improved content publishing methods/processes (4%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide an example of how you would develop a benefits realisation plan (3%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate the proposed team have the skills, knowledge and experience for delivering this type of Discovery, including representative CVs of key roles. (5%)
  • Provide a proposed plan of activities with clear deliverables, milestones and dates demonstrating the ability to complete the delivery of the Discovery project within the required timescales. (5%)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges of implementing user centred solutions in a government agile environment based on the GDS framework. (5%)
  • Evidence that the proposed approach and methodology for Discovery will successfully ascertain user needs and meet specified objectives for the Discovery. (6%)
  • Demonstrate your approach and methodology to delivering the User Research Report, Benefits Case, Summary and Recommendations. (5%)
  • Demonstrate your approach and methodology to knowledge and skills transfer to your client and provide examples of where this has been successful. (4%)
  • Demonstrate your approach and methodology in relation to delivery management, which will ensure that you deliver fully. (4%)
  • Demonstrate your approach and methodology to delivering a discovery that will include recommendations that can be used to form a web strategy moving forward, including improved processes, platform&architecture. (4%)
  • How you will optimise costs for the NHSBSA and deliver value for money. (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual, and in accordance with NHSBSA values. (5%).
  • Demonstrate how you have aligned with an organisation around a shared vision, to meet the organisations strategic goals and values. (5%)
  • The NHSBSA strategic goals and values can be found here
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. when suppliers can expect feedback after the first stage, deadlines for the written proposal/if there will be a presentation and when?
A1. The proposed timescales for this procurement are as follows

First stage assessment deadline – 13/02/20 (midnight)
Notification of success to written proposal stage – 17/02/20
Written proposal stage live on Bravo – 18/02/20
Deadline for written proposal – 20/02/20 (noon)
Notification of successful supplier – by 26/02/20
Contract completion – by 28/02/20

No presentations are planned
2. Q2. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
A.2 Representatives from the NHSBSA digital team will be scoring the applications. Names of these individuals will not be shared.
3. Q3. Is this project expecting to go through the GDS Service Assessment?
A3. Yes
4. Q4. You say it's a 6-month contract but that the Discovery must be completed by 31 March 2020, which is only 29 days after the 2 March 2020 start date.
A4. The discovery must be completed by the 31st March. A six month contract would allow further engagement, if required, giving the contract some flexibility.
5. The address for this work is in Newcastle, are you happy for any potential supplier to work from their base address and visit you in Newcastle or hold video calls on a regular basis
Yes but Newcastle is considered the base location and travel expenses to Newcastle would not be paid
6. For the question "Demonstrate experience and provide an example of working in a blended outcome based team consisting of a mix of supplier and NHSBSA team members." – is experience working with NHSBSA required in order to get a 2 or higher for this question?
Experience of working with NHSBSA is not required to get a 2 or higher. You should be able to demonstrate experience of working in a blended team scenario.
7. Are you committed to any tech stack or CMS for the site?
No, we have no commitment or preconceptions. The aim is for this project to recommend a solution based on discovery findings.
8. What roles are within your existing team?
Web site management, admin, design, user needs.
9. The Discovery timeframe of 4 weeks is very tight. What level of detail do you expect from the Discovery outputs?
We know the timeframe is tight. We expect the supplier to propose what can be sensibly achieved with the resource available to them within their proposal.
10. How can we give CV's of relevant staff and answer the question within 100 words? Can you suggest please?
CV’s are requested at the proposal stage, which will be conducted through Bravo, where attachments will be permitted.
11. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
A private sector example is only required if it has been specifically requested.
12. The opportunity lists a start date of 2 March and a completion date of 31 March, however, it also states a 6-month contract. Can you please clarify if you expect further work to be completed after March 2020?
The discovery must be completed by the 31st March. A six month contract would allow further engagement, if required, giving the contract some flexibility.
13. Would you be open to the successful supplier’s team working both onsite and offsite (e.g. from their own offices or another NHS office if feasible?) Or is your preference that all work should be conducted at Stella House?
It would be acceptable for a supplier to work from their office or another NHSBSA office (if feasible). Please note that Newcastle is considered the base location and travel expenses to Newcastle would not be paid.
14. Why are ‘Nice to have’ Skills and experience allocated % evaluation weightings (10%), if they’re not deemed essential weighting criteria? They’re worth a third of the total marks allocated for the Skills and experience section of the evaluation.
We have allocated the weightings to support in rationalising the number of suppliers down to the required 3.
15. The original timescales were 'proposed'. Have there been any changes?
The updated timeline plan is:-

First stage assessment deadline - 13/02/20 (midnight)
Notification of success to written proposal stage 18/02/20
Written proposal stage live on Bravo 18/02/20
Deadline for supplier questions - 20/02/20 noon
Deadline for written proposal - 24/02/20 noon
Notification of successful supplier - 26/02/20
Contract completion - 28/02/20
16. For the research element, will the chosen supplier need to provide any participant recruitment or are all internal and external stakeholders/ users to be provided by NHSBSA?
Internal stakeholders to be made available by NHSBSA, external stakeholders to be provided by supplier.
17. If external recruitment is required to be undertaken by the chosen provider, please can you provide examples of user profiles?
The discovery itself should identify user profiles.
18. You mentioned 'other locations', are users from across the UK required for the research element? E.g. a mixture of locations?
The supplier should be prepared to travel to more than one location.
19. Are there suitable facilities for user needs interviews at your offices?
Offices are available but should not be relied upon, supplier should consider alternatives.
20. In this discovery, do you intend to focus on particular user groups and/or services or is the intention to cover every service provided by NHSBSA and every user group of those services?
All services and all user groups
21. Has any discovery research been conducted recently or leading up to this and, if yes, what has been carried out so far?
22. The discovery phase is set to be completed by 31st March – is there any reason for this end date?
The deadline is to meet a business need.
23. Would you be able to facilitate recruitment of appropriate research participants – i.e. through your own contact channels and/using your own databases of users?
We would assist but not facilitate.
24. Could you please provide some more details about the existing team for this project? What roles will you be providing and how much of their time will be allocated to the project?
This is flexible and will depend on the proposed solution.
25. Do the NHSBSA team have any existing research, insight, analytics regarding current site usage and context of use? If so, can we assume that this would be made available to the winning supplier at the start of the project?
We would make all of the relevant information we have available to the winning supplier.
26. Given the short timeframe between supplier notification on down selection on 17th Feb and proposal deadline on 20th Feb, please could you confirm details of the proposal you will be seeking from short listed suppliers? In particular, will you be seeking a written response for each of the criteria listed in the Proposal Criteria and Cultural Fit Criteria? Will you be posing any additional questions for suppliers to respond to? And will any word or page limits apply, either at proposal and/or individual question level?
The proposal deadline for the written proposal is now the 24th February (noon).
We will be requiring a written response for the Proposal and Cultural fit criteria.
We will not be posing any further questions for suppliers to respond to.
Word limits will be applied at question level. These will be shared via Bravo.
27. Which in-house NHSBSA team members would work collaboratively with the team provided by the supplier? For instance, NHSBSA staff with design, research or business analysis expertise.
The core team for this project includes service design leads representing both design and user needs, as well as CMS and content specialists. The allocation of this resource and any other requirements will be considered as part of a supplier proposal review.