This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 20 October 2020
NHS Improvement (NHS TDA) and NHS England

NHS England and Improvement: Product development, digital and analytical support services

21 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 10 large

18 Completed applications

5 SME, 13 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 6 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 20 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Up to £4.8m ex VAT contract: digital product delivery and development critical to delivery of outcomes within the NHS Long-Term Plan. NHSE/I requires new data driven digital products, building on and future-proofing our product ecosystem of loosely coupled, highly aligned services. Suppliers' shortlist stage briefing telecon: 12/10/20 (login for details).
Latest start date
Monday 18 January 2021
Expected contract length
24 months with six month extension option.
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
NHS Improvement (NHS TDA) and NHS England
Budget range
Up to £4,800,000 excluding VAT. This the total budget available with individual Statements of Work to be agreed per specific outcome required. Whilst there is no commitment to spend against the pursuant contract, we aim to provide a minimum of a rolling 3 month SoW pipeline.

The business case for this requirement is approved.

The assumption is the majority of the work shall be on a capped time and materials basis, however the Authority reserves the right to include additional pricing models during the life of the contract, on an individual SoW basis.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Improvement products and services are critical for delivering the outcomes within Chapter 5 of the NHS LongTermPlan. The new NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) will need to support the Covid-19 initiatives and NHS Recovery plans through new data driven digital products, while building on their development of state-of-the art data, analytics and digital products to support the Sector.

While not an exclusive contract, a core partner is required on support delivery of our digital products and services portfolio. This will include and not limited to; user research, user design, product design and delivery management, and development & testing.
Problem to be solved
NHSE/I requires a supplier to act as primary partner in the continued development of key data driven digital products and services priorities within our roadmap/backlog. NHSE/I requires a supplier that can offer flexible resources with key skills to deliver operational outcomes in conjunction with internal staff and other suppliers, working to develop products and deliver digital solutions. NHSE/I requires highly competent, specialised teams to rapidly mobilise, providing end to end delivery of the full product life-cycle.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As SRO, I need specialist teams to deliver at pace, within defined enterprise architecture constraints, with user led focus, agile iterative improvement and a continuous deliver model with full automation, assured, containerised deployment and transparency. As a Product Manager, I need to rapidly mobilise expert resources to deliver key outcomes with assurance that they will operate effectively within the wider architecture and operational delivery model. As an analyst, I need expert data engineering support to provide me with the information I need, readily available, catalogued and with clear provenance, irrespective of source, product or interface.
As an end user in the Sector, I want to be able to seamlessly use the product offerings from NHS Insights platform to access key information.
Early market engagement
A Market Alert Notice was emailed to all suppliers registered on DOS4.1 Outcomes (28/09/2020)
Any work that’s already been done
The data and development platform is a live service of components underpinning several verticals such as Model Health System, NHS Insights platform, Patient Level Information & Costing System, Provider Finance Monitoring System, GIRFT, NCIP, A&E Dashboard, Annual Planning and Covid operational dashboards. The core infrastructure is cloud based with Azure with varying degrees of automation. The product in our portfolio are built primarily on .net core, and react.js with some legacy products in Python/Django. We also have a number of dashboard products based on Tableau.
Existing team
Product and engineering teams in NHSE/I are comprised of both permanent employees and supplier resources. NHSE/I has approximately 100 internal staff working to deliver and support the digital products portfolio. Teams are cross-functional and blended, enabling agile product development and knowledge-sharing while minimising single points of failure, including upskilling internal teams.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The customer is based in London (Elephant & Castle) and has offices nationally, with Leeds as another major office. There is a requirement to work remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic however as part of the requirements include COVID response work, it may be necessary to work on site in London (COVID safe).

NHSE/I requires a supplier who can provide a high quality and cost-effective delivery model as prime partner with access to specialist skills at key points along delivery. Given the user centric nature of digital development, key resources will need to work alongside key customers, wherever they are based.
Working arrangements
Team members will be expected to work with and play a key role in implementing continuous integration and delivery pipelines and, where possible, automate any manual operations across the enterprise. The supplier must ordinarily operate with agile business analysis and QA through the application of techniques such as BDD. Agile ceremonies and processes will be adhered to and continuously improved through retrospectives. See also Cultural Fit. Suppliers will promote continuous improvement and Agility through the application of Agile values, principles and associated tools and promote an environment where Quality Assurance is embedded end to end in the development lifecycle.
Security clearance
Security Clearance is not anticipated, should this change during the course of the contract we will provide sufficient lead times where the Supplier does not hold clearances currently.

Supplier requires satisfactory assessment against NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit (as updated), be ICO registered and may require sign additional DSAs/NDAs.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All IPR will be retained by NHSE/I.

No license or permission to use the artefacts delivered by the Supplier is granted except insofar as to deliver the requirements of this Agreement.

The successful Supplier is required to enable effective transition from existing service. This transition period is anticipated to be approximately 3 months.

The DOS contract will contain additional terms, including (not limited to) the following areas:

Behaviours,
Liquidated damages for late delivery,
Exit and Service transfer,
IPR,
Testing,
Warranty.
Information Governance & Data security.

The form of contract shall be shared with shortlisted bidders at Request for Proposal Stage.

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 strong and established expertise and experience in Agile product development in line with GDS standards, including Business Analysis, Product Management, Development & QA.
  • Continue your answer to the criterion above here.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in User Research, UX and delivery of user focused, data driven products at scale.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in Microsoft Azure development including SQLServer, AzureDW, Web Apps, WAF, APIM, data factory, Web & logic apps, Azure Functions, Kubernetes/docker, Azure infrastructure services.
  • Continue your answer to the criterion above here.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise expertise and experience in Okta identity and access management (open ID connect, SAML2).
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in CI/CD and DevOps using a variety of tools and techniques including: Azure Dev Ops CI/CD, Powershell, ARM Templates, TestCafe, JMeter.
  • Continue your answer to the criterion above here.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in deploying test automation techniques and best practices in a digital product delivery environment.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience developing databases/data structures using MS SQL Server.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in understanding content and governance requirements of NHS data and datasets.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in developing with Tableau and Alteryx.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in ITIL, including change management, release management, user support and helpdesk.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience of ensuring Scrum and other Agile theory and practice is implemented and understood within services delivered.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience developing digital product ecosystem strategy and its implementation, showing convergence of varied portfolios of digital products and services.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience of upskilling customer teams in the course of delivery.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience of supporting PMO governance & reporting within an agile portfolio project delivery environment.
  • Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience delivering a complex breadth of requirements through both direct delivery and supply chain.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience of scaling delivery capabilities within complex portfolio environment using frameworks such as SaFE

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
6
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstration of depth of understanding of our product environment, architecture and development model, in line with GDS controls. (20 points).
  • Detail you approach and methodology to deliver our requirements. (40 points).
  • Demonstrate your technical expertise and experience in producing digital products in a healthcare setting. How will this translate to optimum outcomes here (40 points).
  • Provide your team structure, including roles, key personnel and CVs of proposed resources. Describe flexibility and depth of resources over the course of the delivery. (40 points).
  • Demonstrate the capabilities of your delivery partners/supply chain in supporting our requirements, including niche solutions. Describe your associated contracting arrangements. (40 points).
  • Provide your high-level approach for the transition of services from other suppliers. (20 points).
  • Identify risks and dependencies and proposed mitigations to manage them. (20 points).
  • Demonstrate in depth practical interventions to foster and promote innovation within previous engagements, in a similar setting. (20 points).
  • When responding to the Proposal Criteria, shortlisted suppliers must address the technical requirements and other relevant information provided throughout this notice and within supporting materials / Q&A (N/A Points).
Cultural fit criteria
  • Share knowledge, experience and skills with other team members so as to build sustainable internal capability. (40 points).
  • Work in cross functional teams supporting product development initiatives and integration work alongside other suppliers. (20 points).
  • Manage delivery in an Agile environment. Commercial and legal governance must support agile delivery. (20 points).
  • Challenge the status quo. (20 points).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. The notice mentions a shortlisted supplier briefing on 12/10/20 – however, the deadline for submissions is not until 20/10/20. Is this call therefore open to all bidders on 12/10, or will the call be rescheduled for shortlisted suppliers?
The Suppliers' briefing meeting on 12/10/20 is open to all bidders.

There will be a further briefing meeting at proposal stage for those bidder successfully shortlisted following evaluation of submitted responses to the listed skills and experience.
2. Where you have asked for the answer to a question to spread into a second response (as with the first essential), how to you intend to manage the scoring for each half question?
It’ll be treated as one response of up to 200 words in the evaluation.
3. The advert states this will not be an exclusive contract. Approximately how many partners do you envisage splitting the £4.8m budget over? The advert mentions a 3 month transition from the existing service. Please can you confirm who the current incumbent is and if they are also permitted to bid again?
There will be one award to a Supplier and its supply chain. We estimate approximately 20% of business awarded to go the winning bidders supply chain.

The non-exclusivity is in reference to our reserving the right to procure similar services from other sources.

PA Consulting is our current supplier however we have other valid contracts available to us under which similar services can be bought (e.g. with Mastek). Contracts have defined time and spend limits, hence this procurement activity.

All suppliers available to bid through this framework are invited to do, we do not prevent suppliers from bidding.
4. We cannot send any log in details for the supplier session even when logged into DOS, please can you clarify?
We will send dial in details on Monday morning, along with a slide deck to suppliers who have registered or asked a question.
5. There are two essential questions that are followed with this statement: • 'Continue your answer to the criterion above here' Do you effectively want a 200 word answer to the preceding question using the same customer reference or do you want another customer reference for the same question?
You can use a separate example or continue the same example in more detail, your answer will be treated as one response of up to 200 words. We have provided extra space given the requirements of the listed skills/experience.
6. Please can the Authority confirm if evidence of capability in Alteryx is absolutely required, or if experience in similar platforms such as Knime will suffice to meet this requirement?
Alteryx is one of our selected technologies, you or your supply chain will need to evidence this when responding to the listed essential skills and experience. It is acceptable to rely on a supply chain for various elements, but not for everything (i.e. we want the bidder supplier to have significant capability themselves and not just be a managing agent).
7. CORRECTION ON ESSENTIAL SKILLS & EXPERIENCE: Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience in understanding content and governance requirements of NHS data and datasets.
THIS CRITERION IS NICE TO HAVE AND NOT ESSENTIAL AND WILL BE EVALUATED AS SUCH.
We are not able to move it from the essential list as the opportunity is live however it WILL NOT be used to disqualify suppliers who don't score a 2 "Met" in the evaluation.
As a nice to have it can still be used to select one bidder over another, if more than 6 bidders pass the remaining essential skills and experience.
8. Will you carry over scores and ranking from shortlist stage evaluation to proposal stage?
No, once the shortlist is selected, the evaluation will solely be on the proposal evaluation criteria as shown in the RfP.

References and validation of the shortlist responses will take place during the proposal stage, this is a pass/fail activity and is not scored.
9. The following suppliers registered for the shortlist stage suppliers’ briefing meeting. Non-attendance DOES NOT preclude a DOS 4 lot 1 supplier bidding.
XDesign
Valtech
Trustmarque
DXW (The Dextrous Web)
Insight
Zircon Software
PA Consulting
Made Tech
Informed Solutions
CPS
Mastek
Version 1
Difrent
CapGemini
Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
IBM Services
Altius Data
Hippo Digital
Responsiv Solutions LTD
LA International Computer Consultants Ltd
Northgate Public Services
NHS NEL CSU
Optum
Glue Reply
NHS Arden & GEM CSU
DXW
Cognizant
10. What would you like to see evolve or change from the current contract?
The next iteration of the contract is an evolution of our requirements and not a direct replacement

Since last contract was awarded, we have seen NHSE/I develop its joint operating model and ways of working, we have a complex internal organisational structure in terms of areas and stakeholders we work with.

We need a partner who can be dynamic and adaptable with those changes.

We will want full supplier delivery teams, individual subject matter expertise input to existing projects and team augmentation with supplier resources. Always the work will be underpinned by outputs, targets and outcomes, managed under SoW.
11. What projects/portfolio is anticipated to still live from the current contract when the new contract starts in January 2021?
The following isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list:
Model Hospital / Model Health System
Insights Platform
NHS Viewpoint
Recovery of Critical Services
PLICS
Product Ecosystem
UDAL
Analytical Products (Tableau)
12. Are the essential skills and experience on the portal correct, as they differ to those in the slide deck
The portal is correct (note question 7 above re the NHS Data essential skill is moved to nice to have).

The main discrepancy was the references to Django & Python in the slide deck – these are used in legacy products which require either refactoring or sunsetting. These skills are not essential at the outset and need not be responded to in the shortlisting, however during the life of the contract the Supplier may need to provide and it is possible for them to augment their supply chain whilst the contract is progressing
13. You have an ambition for c20% to be delivered by supply chain, does that mean you only want large companies to bid, with small and medium enterprises in the supply chain of larger bidders?
We don’t only want large organisations to bid. We would be happy to receive bids where a significantly higher proportion of delivery was through supply chain. We do however want a main partner organisation with a significant delivery capability in its own right, and not proposing to deliver a minority of services, or act as a managing agent.
14. Please could you outline who the current suppliers are that supporting this environment?
The following isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list:
Beautiful Information
Informed Solutions
Interworks Mastek
Edge health
Glue Reply
KPMG
PA Consulting
Torchbox
15. Are you able to provide a recording/summary of the supplier briefing session for those organisations who were unable to attend?
The Q&A from the session will be published on the DOS portal. No recording was made. For shortlisted suppliers there will be a further briefing meeting at proposal stage anticipated to be on 2 Nov.
16. Is there a current incumbent supplier (PA?) and if so, does NHSE/I believe this is a relevant transfer for TUPE purposes?
PA Consulting is the current Supplier, however this contract is considered an evolution from what we have delivered previously. TUPE transfers are not anticipated in the event a new Supplier is successful.
17. Does NHSE/I have a preferred agile methodology it wishes to use?
Typically, we operate the delivery teams using 2 weekly sprints, in some cases we use Kanban. In all cases we use CICD and where possible deploy/release regularly at the end of each planning cycle.
18. Can NHSE/I describe how additional contract terms such as LDs, testing and warranty, will fit with the overall agile direction of the engagement? Testing is usually in the context of sprints. LDs are for milestone driven projects, not agile. Warranty needs to be relevant to agile process/timescales.
These will be visible to those successful at shortlisting stage, however warranty will be appropriate to the outcome of a given SOW and reflective of an agile operating environment (as appropriate). Testing shall similarly be appropriate to the operating environment. Liquidated Damages will be for critical and time sensitive projects and are not anticipated to be used by default.
19. Will the provider be required to process personal data under the contract, and could this include sensitive personal data/special category data, such as patient records?
Yes. However this will not include patient identifiable records.

The majority of work will not involve processing personal data. The personal data likely processed is personal data related to users who register with our various products and services.

NHSE/I receive and process Secondary Use datasets to meet our functions. The products in scope may require the processing of pseudonymised record level data (technically personal data from a GDPR perspective) as well as aggregated data (as the general outputs via various products). Given this is data concerning health this is also classified as special category personal data (from a GDPR perspective).
20. Will the provider be required to process personal data under the contract, and could this include sensitive personal data/special category data, such as patient records?
CONTINUATION OF PREVIOS ANSWER:

All data processing by the supplier will be done on behalf of NHSE/I under our relevant legal basis and suppliers will be/are engaged in a data processing capacity. The contract with suppliers will include our GDPR terms/personal data framework. All supplier staff will be on boarded to work within NHSE/I and where the works require access to personal data, access will be provided in a controlled manner as discussed with each team. All dev and data analysis will remain within NHSE/I’s secure network.
21. Please advise if the bidder briefing was recorded and if yes if you can give access to it. Thank you
It wasn’t recorded however if suppliers email the address displayed on the portal (where the suppliers briefing meeting details were listed AFTER you have logged in), the same copy of slides will be shared with you.
22. In relation to the following Essential Skill/Experience:
Demonstrate strong and established expertise and experience developing digital product ecosystem strategy and its implementation, showing convergence of varied portfolios of digital products and services.
How do you define a digital product ecosystem strategy?
A digital product ecosystem for the purposes of shortlisting, is a collection of complimentary product items that have evolved alongside one another, and which collectively provide an end user with an extended range of functionality. For example NHSE/I have analytical tools designed for advanced users, alongside point-and-click web-based products which share key headline information.