Awarded to Agile World Associates

Start date: Friday 20 March 2020
Value: £32,850
Company size: SME
NHSX, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care

NHS Outpatient Patient Interface Review

22 Incomplete applications

19 SME, 3 large

25 Completed applications

21 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Friday 14 February 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 21 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 28 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
It’s understood that patient interfaces (including patient portals, personal health records) have the potential to help outpatients in their experience of health and care.

We are looking to review existing patient interfaces to know if they meet claimed outcomes.
Latest start date
Monday 16 March 2020
Expected contract length
4 Weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
NHSX, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care
Budget range
Up to £35,000 excluding VAT.

About the work

Why the work is being done
NHS colleagues in trusts have told us that they are considering investing further in patient interfaces but would like more input from NHSX to judge if they are worthwhile. We have an opportunity to influence those purchasing products and services with this work.
Problem to be solved
What do patient interfaces do?

We would like to know what features and functionalities they offer.

Are they value for money?

We would like to know the cost associated with the product and understand which product offers the best value for money.

The team should consider the different commercial models.

Are current tools doing what they are supposed to?

We would like a team to assess whether patient portals, PHRs and other apps we outline are meeting the needs for patients who need to connect with clinical teams and see key parts of their patient records. More broadly are they the right solution to solve the problems they are procured for.

Are existing portals meeting tech and design standards? Which ones perform best?

The team should report on whether existing patient portals are meeting the tech, usability and design standards we’d expect from a public facing service.

These could include;
The GOV.UK standard
NHS service standards
What we think good services look like (Lou Downe, 2018)
Take account of the NHS app library assessment criteria
Alignment with PHR criteria

Colleagues have already investigated methods in which to evaluate digital health interventions which we would encourage you to take account of.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Patients being asked to use products/services
Healthcare professionals who also use or promote the product/service
NHS staff who may help onboard or support the use of these products/services
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There is an Outpatients Transformation team (a combination of NHSX and NHSE).

Within NHSE there is also future proposed evaluation work which we would expect you to have sight of in order to avoid duplication of effort.
Existing team
The work is commissioned by NHSX. There is no incumbent supplier.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work can be performed from any location, but it will be coordinated by staff in NHSX’s London Offices.
Working arrangements
Work may be carried out from multiple locations including the Supplier’s offices. Attendance at NHSX offices in London and in other locations around England will be required for select meetings.
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
  • Proven track record in evaluating digital products and services
  • Robust methodology on how you’d evaluate
  • Experience in human centred design space and can thrive within the practices and culture of design-led organisations
  • Skills in researching if products/services meet user needs
  • Knowledge and understanding of standards within the NHS/Gov
  • Great stakeholder management skills
  • Ability to communicate findings that make sense to different audiences (from clinicians and staff to digital professionals)
  • Demonstrable experience and capability with clear ethical practice and information governance
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Previous NHS experience
  • Understanding of information governance in the context of health and care
  • Can review the consequences of a product/feature and understand responsible design
  • Previous experience reviewing digital health interventions
  • Knowledge of products/services in this space

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 and methodology of the review will deliver robust insights
  • Demonstrate how these will align with the standards within Government and the NHS
  • Demonstrate how you will communicate this research, especially towards an audience who are thinking of purchasing a patient interface
  • Estimated time frames for the work
  • Team structure, skills and experience
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you have established trusted relationships with senior leaders in large, complex organisations
  • Outline your style and approach to working with a multidisciplinary in NHSX, with examples of how you have established productive, collaborative relationships on previous projects
  • Outline your style and approach to working transparently & collaboratively when making decisions and recommendations, with at least 2 examples of how you have used the techniques successfully
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier for this work?
There is no incumbent or preferred supplier.
2. You mention patient portals, PHR, apps and three user groups across them all. Do you have an intended area of focus (a particular product(s) or user group(s)) for this 4-week evaluative research?
We have a prioritised list of products/services to review.
3. Would NHSX be able to facilitate recruitment of appropriate research participants? i.e. through your own contact channels and/using your own databases of users?
NHSX can provide some assistance in getting access to people that use or have used these types of products before. However the winning supplier would be ultimately responsible for recruiting appropriate participants as we do not have the capacity for a supplier to be reliant on us for recruitment.
4. Have methods for evaluating digital health interventions already been explored that you would like the supplier to take account of?
We have prepared a list of relevant links that include methods of evaluations and assessments against GOV.UK/NHS.UK standards. This can be accessed here:
5. Do you anticipate that this work will lead to any follow up activity or will this be a discrete activity in its own right?
This is unknown at present.
6. Can you provide any more information on what output you are looking for from this work? What do you feel would give greatest value and be most likely to influence future purchasing decisions?
For many the cost and the outcomes of what the service provides will be very influential. Those who are making the purchasing decisions are looking for guidance on if they should invest in these services and if they do which one is best for their needs. So understanding what they do well and the features they have over competitors might be important. The output could be at minimum a plain English report that is shareable with colleagues, with the possibility of some in-person show and tell of the review.
7. Can you clarify the point under work that's already been done "Within NHSE there is also future proposed evaluation work ". Is this work that will be complete by the time this work starts or will be running in parallel? Can you provide any more detail on the scope of that activity?
The future proposed evaluation work not been started so will not overlap with this work. This review will feed into that future work.
8. You mention an audience who are thinking of purchasing the interface, does this refer to an organisation department? Can you provide some more information on who might be looking to purchase?
There is not one department or organisation that is responsible for buying products and services for the NHS. It is devolved to NHS trusts and CCGs to make those decisions. The audience for this work will be those working in NHS care providers who will need to decide how to procure digital patient interfaces.
9. Can you provide any links or examples of the products that are live currently?
We will share the list we have created with the successful supplier. Many can also be found by searching online for patient portals, personal health records or patient interfaces.
10. Which of these statements best reflect the project:

A. All the apps/portals/interfaces are relevant to all outpatients
B. Each app/portal/interface is relevant for a specific outpatient group

If the latter, how would you look to define the user groups for recruitment?
It is a mix of both A&B. For this piece of work the top 5 which we have prioritised are firmly in the A category and then we have some that are in the B. The B group is usually attached to specific clinical practices, such as maternity care.
11. Can you provide any information about the number of interfaces (apps and portals) you are looking at reviewing?
We have a top 5 that are musts then a list in priority order. We understand the timescales are limited so we have a prioritised list to work from.
12. You've mentioned 'Great stakeholder management skills'. Is there any specific level/expertise/type of stakeholders we would have to deal with? i.e. C-level management, end-users, health experts, government, etc…
Depending on how this problem is approached you could be dealing with those working in NHS trusts who are often very busy with many competing demands. The work will report into:

Senior management at NHS trusts
Senior management within NHS England and NHSX

And could involve engaging with:

NHS Trust staff
Service users
Operational managers
NHS patients
13. Just to clarify, are you looking to get an elaboration of different cases/experience for each of the requirements, e.g. "Proven track record in evaluating digital products and services" or do you want it as it is described in "how to give evidence", i.e. only provide one example and for this one elaborate on what the situation was, the work the team did, what the results were?
It is very common in civil service interviews to answer using the STAR methods; Situation, Task, Action, Result. That being said we are comfortable with you presenting your experience in whichever format you think works best if that does not suit.