Awarded to Softwire Technology Limited

Start date: Monday 1 February 2021
Value: £272,900
Company size: SME
Public Health England

National Tuberculosis Surveillance System: Live

3 Incomplete applications

1 SME, 2 large

5 Completed applications

4 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Friday 13 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 20 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 27 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
PHE wished to replace two legacy TB surveillance systems with a new single system, which has now been built. PHE is now seeking a supplier to support the phased roll-out of the system across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, subject to further approvals, continue to extend its functionality.
Latest start date
Monday 1 February 2021
Expected contract length
24 Months (2 Years)
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Public Health England
Budget range
Phased Roll-Out: £230K-300K (excluding VAT) + Additional functionality: potentially up to £300K (excluding VAT) subject to internal approvals

About the work

Why the work is being done
All cases of active TB must be notified to PHE within 72 hours of diagnosis. This allows for timely public health action to be taken by a multi-disciplinary team of NHS and PHE staff. Information on TB cases is used to monitor UK trends, to report internationally and to support the prevention of transmission of TB.

PHE hosts two systems to monitor cases of active TB. These are at end-of-life. A new system has been built (the source code can be seen here) using the following technologies:
• .NET Core 2.2 - Server side rendering, razor pages
• Persistence: Entity Framework, Dapper
• Async jobs management: Hangfire
• Frontend: TypeScript + Vue.js for progressive enhancement, npm, nhsuk-frontend and govuk-frontend framework/design toolkit
• Deployment: Docker + Kubernetes (AKS + Openshift), Github actions for CI
All databases are SQL Server 2017 running on PHE’s SQL Server cluster. The system will be hosted by PHE.

Deployment has been delayed due to Covid-19 but PHE is aiming to roll out the replacement system during 2021. Two further releases of additional functionality are then planned.
Problem to be solved
The existing systems used to perform surveillance on cases of active TB in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have reached end of life. PHE wishes to roll out the replacement system and continue to develop it, including a number of components which can be reused by other PHE surveillance programmes in due course. The system will be hosted by PHE at its Porton site.
Who the users are and what they need to do
• TB nurses, respiratory doctors, administrative staff in NHS clinics: adding and updating the surveillance record for each case of active TB
• Laboratory staff: providing test results for new and existing cases
• PHE Field Service and Health Protection teams: analysing surveillance data, managing TB incidents, multi-disciplinary TB cohort review, ensuring high level of data quality, investigating outbreaks of TB, advising local staff on appropriate measures
• National TB surveillance team: data quality monitoring and production of statistics on TB trends including indicators to support national TB strategy, annual report & annual dataset submitted to international bodies including World Health Organisation
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery, Alpha and Beta have been completed. The reports for these will be made available only to the shortlisted suppliers, on request.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with:
- PHE Product Owner for TB surveillance
- PHE project manager for TB surveillance
- PHE database manager and developer for TB surveillance
With additional input from:
- national and London TB surveillance teams
- project assurance leads for National Infection Service
- PHE ICT team
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
It is anticipated that the successful bidder will be able to work from their own location in the UK. However, subject to Covid restrictions, the supplier should expect some travel to PHE's office at 61 Colindale Ave, London NW9 5EQ. Expenses, which must be in line with PHE’s policy will be discussed with the winning supplier
Working arrangements
The supplier will be expected to work using Scrum and all ceremonies will be open to the PHE project team, with a wider set of stakeholders expected to attend Show and Tell. The supplier will follow a 'one team' approach with the PHE project team attending all daily stand-ups and participating fully in the work of the team.
Security clearance
Not required, DBS checks may be required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The use of hyperlinks within Essential & Nice to Have skills/experience to answer questions is strictly prohibited. Suppliers will be scored on response text only

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
  • For Essential and Nice to Have skills/experience stating “recent”, please provide the year of the project within your answer. Please insert n/a in the corresponding response field for this guidance.
  • E1) Recent experience (within 3 years) of taking over the support and maintenance of a complex system developed by another supplier
  • E2) Recent experience (within 3 years) of designing and developing systems for 600+ users using Microsoft technology stack including .NET, EntityFramework and SQL Server
  • E3) Recent experience (within 3 years) of delivering multi-release software development projects using the Agile methodology
  • E4) Recent experience (within 3 years) of developing or supporting software which relies on a third party identity provider such as Windows or Azure AD
  • E5) Recent experience (within 3 years) of developing or supporting software using container technology such as Kubernetes
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • N1) Recent experience (within 3 years) of delivering systems using the and/or frontend library
  • N2) Experience of working on solutions for public health or healthcare systems
  • N3) Experience of PDS mini-service
  • N4) Experience (within 5 years) of delivering loosely coupled solutions to allow modules to be reused by other systems

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • P1) Approach to DevOps and other aspects of management (30)
  • P2) Approach to taking over the existing project, code base and architecture (20)
  • P3) Approach to project delivery (20)
Cultural fit criteria
  • The Presentation (to be held on 11 January 2021) should summarise the Proposal and also demonstrate the following
  • C1) Experience of working within environments with complex hierarchical decision making structures and where multiple stakeholders have differing levels of digital awareness (4)
  • C2) Ability to communicate effectively and being able to respond rapidly to live issues (3)
  • C3) Understanding and respecting clients’ internal governance and procedures (3)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Note from PHE: Please note the links that should appear in "Why the work is being done" have not displayed. Please see answer for these links.
2. Are there any incumbent suppliers?
3. Please could you confirm the expected procurement timeline?
The timeline is expected to be:
Shortlisting Exercise: 30/11/20 to 04/12/20
RFP sent to shortlisted suppliers: 07/12/20
RFP Question Deadline: 14/12/20
RFP Q & A Sent: 16/12/20
RFP Deadline: 04/01/21 12pm
Supplier Presentations: 11/01/21
Intent to award: 18/01/21
4. Note to All Suppliers: You should have received an email from the Digital Marketplace advising of planned maintenance on 27th November 2020 between the hours of 4pm and 5pm. This advises that if you are logged in to the digital marketplace during this time you will be automatically logged out meaning any unsaved work will be lost. Therefore, we wished to advise suppliers in case you have not seen this email and to suggest that you avoid any work on your submission during this time as this day is the deadline for responses.
Please see question.