Awarded to SocietyWorks

Start date: Tuesday 14 December 2021
Value: £68,250
Company size: SME
Department of Health & Social Care

Hospital Facilities Fault Reporting App - Combined Discovery and Alpha

10 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 0 large

14 Completed applications

11 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 23 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 30 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 6 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
1. We have completed most of Discovery using internal resource. We need support completing Discovery by ensuring that user research carried out by DHSC is effective, and advising how the Discovery’s conclusions translate into technological solutions.

2. Delivering the Alpha phase of the process and building a prototype solution.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Expected contract length
8-10 Weeks
Organisation the work is for
Department of Health & Social Care
Budget range
£70,000.00 combined budget for completing Discovery and delivering Alpha.

About the work

Why the work is being done
DHSC’s PFI Centre of Best Practice has been tasked with carrying out a review of all 100+ Private Finance Initiative contracts in the NHS. This is to assess contract management resources, capability, systems, and processes. As part of this, we’re seeking to complete Discovery in developing an app to help staff more easily report faults in hospitals. The aim is to improve the value Trusts achieve from their PFI contracts and ensure they receive the level of service due to them under the contract – essentially, to ensure they “get what they pay for”.
Problem to be solved
Trusts’ main contractual level to improve performance in this area is through reporting faults. This ensures issues are factored into the contract’s performance management and reporting processes which are intended to drive improved performance.

Currently, faults are not reported as often as they should, and only by a minority of users. The percentage of staff reporting faults needs to be increased via easy accessibility to fault reporting to ensure proper accountability of private sector partners. The number of faults reported needs to increase to reflect the scale of the issue.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a NHS member of staff I need to be able to easily and conveniently report a fault in my hospital in a way which provides the supplier with the information they need and the Trust with reliable data, so that this fault can be resolved and measured for supplier performance as part of the contract.
Early market engagement
We held initial calls with app development companies purely to understand the Agile process. No specifications or proposals were formally shared.
Any work that’s already been done
We have completed most of the Discovery phase using internal resource and existing knowledge/contacts.
This includes establishing the nature of the problem, user needs, challenges, and existing systems in Trusts. We held user research interviews with Estates staff in NHS Trusts with PFI contracts to seek their views and input.
Existing team
This project is managed by the Department's PFI Centre of Best Practice, a small team consisting of finance and commercial officials. The team have a role in supporting NHS Trusts in managing their PFI contracts.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The team are normally based in London, however, are currently working remotely due to Covid-19. The Trusts we work with (including on this project) are based across the country (although some of their staff also work remotely).
Working arrangements
Current circumstances mean that we will work with individuals by phone or video conferencing. This provides more flexibility, particularly when also communicating with staff in NHS Trusts. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there is no current requirement to work in the office for a certain period of time.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard DOS T&C's

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
  • Full understanding and demonstrable experience in planning and running Discovery and Alpha product development methodologies
  • Demonstrable experience and expertise in user research and delivery of user focused products
  • Demonstrable experience and expertise developing digital applications including the delivery of mobile applications
  • Demonstrable expertise and experience in synthesising existing work into successful development phase (particularly Discovery into Alpha)
  • • Proven experience building easy-to-use web-based / mobile applications
  • Experience developing and delivering systems for fault reporting
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of and expertise in developing digital products for use in the NHS
  • Demonstrable experience of working with Government departments to develop digital services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Experience of delivering an incident fault Reporting Platform/App, and your approach to delivering this with multiple organisations. 15%
  • Proposed approach to completing the Discovery phase of a multidisciplinary digital health project and capability to manage multiple projects. 5%
  • Proposed approach to producing a final Discovery report with recommendations and options for progressing to Alpha. 5%
  • Proposed approach to applying the principles user centred design, user insights and prototyping to the development of solutions. 10%
  • Proposed approach, methodology and deliverables to enable us to identify the most valuable opportunities for digital to make a difference to staff. 5%
  • Evidence of working with technology standards and data standards already in place across a wider service. 5%
  • Estimated timeframes, team structure, skills and experience 15%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Outline approach to working with multidisciplinary in-house teams, how you have built in house skills and capabilities, with examples of how you established productive, collaborative relationships on previous projects. 8%
  • Outline your style and approach to working transparently and collaboratively when making decisions and recommendations, with at least 2 examples of how you have used the techniques successfully. 7%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will applications from suppliers where development is carried out by offshore resource and managed by an onshore team be accepted?
Yes. We will accept applications from suppliers where development is carried out by offshore resource and managed by an onshore team provided all data is hosted in the UK.
2. Are you specifically looking for someone to develop a bespoke solution or would you consider an off the shelf solution? I ask as there are a lot of other products on the market that can be licenced.
Based on our initial Discovery work, we are seeking a bespoke solution. This is because it gives us control over its development and we can shape the solution. PFI contracts are due to continue in to the 2030s and we would want to own a long-term solution that we can provide to the NHS that is scalable and minimises ongoing licencing costs.
3. Is there a particular technology stack that you would like to utilise for the solution, or would you be open to recommendations from potential suppliers?
We are open to recommendations from potential suppliers.
4. £70k is not much money for a combined discovery/alpha. Is there any additional budget?
There is no additional budget for this. However, we think this is sufficient because the majority of Discovery has been completed using internal resource. Completing Discovery should therefore require only minimal external support before moving to Alpha.

We have provided a summary of the Discovery work completed internally, which is available at this link:
5. Is there a preferred technology platform for the Alpha development?
We are open to recommendations from potential suppliers.
6. Your discovery report states that you have assessed four apps. Can you please state which these four are?
We will disclose the specific apps we have looked at to the successful supplier, as part of sharing our full Discovery report.
7. How many PFI locations will use the app?
We have not yet determined how many of the 100+ PFI contracts across the NHS will use the app. We will initially want to test the app with a small group of Trusts and expand it to the rest of the health PFI portfolio.
8. Will there be an admin type team from Department of Health & Social Care that will want to manage the app centrally? If so what might their roles be?
Ongoing management of the app will sit with the PFI Centre of Best Practice and it will form part of their existing role in working with Trusts who manage PFI contracts.
9. What is your expected ongoing budget to support the new system/app once live? Specifically we mean what will be the team size, composition and budget to support and maintain the app from the Department of Health & Social Care?
We have not yet identified a budget or resource levels for ongoing support.
10. Clause 34.2 states that the indemnity given in respect of a breach of clause 14 (Data-Protection-and-Disclosure) is unlimited. Market trends show that customers are not asking for unlimited liability and CCS have agreed after consultation with suppliers to future cap liability breaches. As a result the next iteration of the DOS Framework which is currently out to market no longer includes unlimited liability. In consideration of the new position being taken by CCS can you please confirm if you are willing to discuss a separate cap for data breach liability with the down selected supplier commensurate with the contract value.
Currently, the standard contract includes an unlimited indemnity and we are not aware of any formal contract change notices or new guidance from CCS in regard to this version of the DOS Framework. We therefore wish to retain this approach. We will consider our approach to future stages of this project including the potential use of the new DOS Framework when it is available.
11. Regarding the adoption and use of the Facilities Fault Reporting App, how will you measure success?
Our primary measure of success will be an increase in the number of Trust staff reporting faults (when compared to the number of staff regularly using the existing system to report faults).
12. Are there any specific accessibility standards that need to be met for the front-end of the Facilities Fault Reporting App? e.g. WCAG 2.0 AAA
We have not defined our accessibility requirements and are open to advice on this from suppliers.
13. Given the Discovery phase has been internally run and is close to completion, what UX research assets (if any) have been produced to date? e.g. Personas, user journey maps, etc.
We have produced brief user profiles with different user requirements/objective, and process maps for existing and proposed processes.

We will share these with the successful supplier.
14. During the Research, Design & Testing process what potential opportunities would we have to involve end users in research, design and/or testing?
We have already established contact with some Trusts during our user research work and would consult them about involving end users in design and testing.
15. Is there a separate interface outside of the intended Facilities Fault Reporting App that would enable management to action and manage the faults reported?
Currently faults are submitted mainly via email. The app is intended as an alternative method to report faults – i.e. an input to the wider helpdesk process. Facilities suppliers have existing systems to manage and action faults report, which will remain unchanged.
16. You indicate that the Alpha will be web-based. Will you be considering native for future phases? It would be useful to know if the backend architecture has to handle different front ends.
Our preference is for a web-based app given this is not a complex solution. However, we are open to recommendations from potential suppliers.
17. Will the app need to integrate with other systems? Will it need an API?
Our current view is that the app will not need to interact directly with other systems, as faults will be submitted via email.