Awarded to We Are Snook Ltd

Start date: Monday 22 March 2021
Value: £1,000,000
Company size: SME

User centred design and digital transformation partner

22 Incomplete applications

18 SME, 4 large

47 Completed applications

31 SME, 16 large

Important dates

Tuesday 5 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 19 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We need a supplier to provide knowledge, skills and experience to deliver user-centred design and specialist digital transformation capability within the NHSX Digital Transformation Team, on projects with partners across the health and care system.

Supplier may be required to run two or more projects simultaneously at any one time.
Latest start date
Monday 15 February 2021
Expected contract length
18 Months.
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Budget range
The budget range for this call-off contract is between £0 and £1m (excluding VAT).

Statements of work will be agreed on fixed price or capped price basis with agreed deliverables.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHSX Digital Transformation team supports the health and care system to realise the benefits of digital, data and technology to deliver better end to end services for their users and the professionals who deliver them.

We support and enable teams across health and care with the design and delivery of simpler, faster and better end to end services.

We also build capability to help all relevant teams and organisations to understand why and how to deliver user centred digital and technology enabled services.
Problem to be solved
NHSX is supporting user centred service design and transformation across a growing number of programmes and service areas. We need support in a number of different areas.

Strategic support to help teams identify and explore transformational opportunities.

Growing demand for user-centred design capability means we need experts in service design, user research and other digital skills to increase our capacity and support efforts to deliver user-centred services that meet NHS and cross government service standard requirements.

Support to develop capability across different digital transformation programmes and lay the foundations for sustainable digital services.
Who the users are and what they need to do
NHSX staff, national and local health and care organisations, patients and the public.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
A civil service led mixed team of contractors, agencies and civil servants.
Current phase
Not applicable

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
A flexible approach is required to meet the needs of each individual project and programme on a SOW basis.

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 may be required for meetings.

Given the potential impact on local services over the next few months, user research and design activities might need to be carried out remotely.
Security clearance
A minimum of BPSS will be required before any work can be started.

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 successfully leading strategic, user-centred design work to understand the end-to-end lived experience of users and the professionals who deliver services.
  • Demonstrate experience of using service design or user research insights to influence long-term organisation strategy or the approach of senior/board level decision makers.
  • Demonstrate a full understanding and demonstrable experience of a wide range of research and design methodologies for designing high-volume digital services which have a diverse mix of users.
  • Demonstrate an ability to scale the team to lead on further discoveries or alphas alongside existing discovery and alpha projects (with appropriate notice/agreement of work packages).
  • Demonstrate recent experience (within the last 2 years) of designing and prototyping digital services that meet NHS and/or government service standards.
  • Demonstrate recent (within the last 2 years) experience of recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting a supportive and inclusive culture.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate understanding and previous experience working with health, social care or local government services.
  • Demonstate understanding of when and how to use different types of and fidelity of artefacts and prototypes to validate concepts and communicate and get buy-in from a range of stakeholders.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Essential skills from stage 1 (20%)
  • Describing how your approach and methodology to user centred service design and digital transformation support meets our needs (10%)
  • Organisational capability to provide specialist support. This will include providing a Rate Card based on DDaT job families (10%)
  • Provide a case study which demonstrates how your approach has met user needs and what sustainable benefits this has enabled (10%)
  • Providing examples of how your company has delivered social value e.g. created new jobs, reduced the disability employment gap, tackled workforce inequality or improved health and wellbeing (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you have established trusted advisory relationships with senior stakeholders in large, complex organisations (7%).
  • Outline your style and approach to working with a multidisciplinary in-house team and how you have built in house skills and capabilities (7%).
  • Outline your style and approach to working transparently & collaboratively when making decisions and recommendations (6%).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is it possible to provide a full breakdown of roles likely to be required – if not across the full contract duration, then immediately/in short term following contract award?
The full breakdown of roles digital specialist roles is covered by the User Centred Design and Product and Delivery families of the DDaT framework:

As well as any specialist digital transformation advisory roles, the roles we would need most frequently are service designer, user researcher, interaction designer and product manager.
2. Appreciate this is a User Centred Design project, but ultimately what technologies will it be applied to please? e.g. Microsoft, Oracle etc
This contract is for user centre design work which does not always lead to or necessitate the use of technology. So, the work might not ultimately be applied to technology.
However, the projects we work on cover a multitude of different technologies which are in use across the health and care system.
3. Please would you advise details of the volumes in your reference to “designing high-volume digital services which have a diverse mix of users”
As a national team, we work with digital services with volumes which range from the 100,000s to the 10’s millions. For this requirement we are less interested in the actual volume of users but would like to see evidence you have worked on digital services which have been used at scale (regional or national).
4. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?

Who’s on the panel?
There is no incumbent supplier.

The panel will be made up of senior digital transformation and design staff from NHSX.
5. For the essential question ‘Demonstrate recent (within the last 2 years) experience of recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting a supportive and inclusive culture.’ do you mean within our own organisation / workforce, or establishing a culture / supporting recruitment for client teams?
This criteria takes into account the social value of your organisation so applies to your own organisation’s workforce. Examples of things we are looking for could include:

Demonstrate action to increase representation of disable people.

Influence of customers to increasing the diversity of project teams.

Action to identify and tackle inequality in skills, employment or pay in your workforce.

Support in-work progression to help people (including those from disadvantage or minority groups).

Demonstrate action to identify and manage the risks of modern slavery.
6. Please could you provide clarity on the question – “Demonstrate recent (within the last 2 years) experience of recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting a supportive and inclusive culture.”
Is this meant in the sense of diversity of job functions/families, or is it in the sense of culture, ethnicity etc?
See answer above.
7. For ‘Demonstrate recent (within the last 2 years) experience of recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting a supportive and inclusive culture.’, can you confirm if this relates to the supplier’s workforce or the user base for the service?
See answer above.
8. Can the Authority clarify if the Statements of Work will be outcome-based for supplier delivery teams, or centred around the provision of specialists to augment capacity/capability in existing Authority teams?
Individual statements of works will be outcome- based though the size of the team will depend on the outcome we are trying to achieve. This could range from 1-2 members of staff to whole multi-disciplinary delivery teams. However, these teams will be expected to work closely, or form joint teams, with in house staff and wider stakeholders.
9. Is it the Authority’s intention to award a contract to a single supplier, or a range of suppliers to gain a wider capability base for this scope of work?
A single supplier.
10. What kind of lead time would you expect to see between providing a brief and us setting up a team to kick off?
This would vary depending on the size and scope of the project but we would expect a 2 week lead time on average.
11. You have mentioned about leading on Discovery/Alpha phases – presumably providing entire teams (or the majority of them) in these instances. You also mentioned about providing resources to supplement existing teams. Do you have any idea at this stage if the former is likely to be the focus? Or what the rough split is expected to be?
How are you currently measuring the success of your work?
The focus will be primarily on providing entire teams to delivery discovery and alpha phases working alongside NHSX or teams from other health and care organisations.
We have an in-house design team so there will be projects which are delivered as a joint team but these will be more infrequent.
We work on projects with teams across health and care so have different measures of success depending on the project.
12. How are you currently measuring the success of your work?
A number of measures are used based on the Statement of Works, for example we may measure 'acceptance' based on test-scripts developed for User Stories. Success measures should be made clear up front so that there is clarity.
13. To what extent is the emphasis on delivering pieces of work versus upskilling and training for teams?
One of the roles of the NHSX team this supplier will be working with is to build capability. Whoever we work with, we help relevant teams and organisations to understand why and how to deliver user centred digital and technology enabled services.

So we currently envisage all projects the supplier does having an element of capability and upskilling though specific approaches and focus will vary.
14. What is the current internal design function? Roles/size of team etc.
The central design team has 19 roles. The majority of the roles are split across user research and service design but we do have interaction and content designers. Also, there are user researchers and designers in other delivery teams across NHSX and we work with other digital/design teams in other organisations.
15. Is there a current incumbent supplier?
16. The stage 2 proposal states that 20% of the marks will be on “Essential skills from stage 1”. Does that mean each shortlisted supplier’s score from stage 1 will be used for that, or will there be further stage 2 questions evidencing the same set of essential skills?

Do you expect suppliers to provide single work history examples per essential and nice to have criteria or are you happy for suppliers to provide more than one per requirement?
We will not take the score from Stage 1 but will mark this question separately based on your response. Bidders should clearly set out how they meet these Essential Skills, providing examples (one or more and clearly linked to Case Study where this is appropriate [perhaps to save word-count]).

We are happy for suppliers to provide more than one example per criteria should you wish.
17. Regarding the diversity requirement, would you like to see examples where suppliers have helped clients be more diverse or examples where suppliers themselves have made their businesses diverse workplaces?
This criteria takes into account the social value of your organisation so we would like to see examples from your own organisation’s workforce. See the above answer for more examples.
18. Can you please share what the “growing number of programmes and service areas” are with suppliers at this stage? If you can, how are these being prioritised by NHSX?
The team currently supports over 10 different projects and service areas. As a function we manage requests for our team’s support, which we prioritise, as well as deliver on priorities set by NHSX.
19. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold at NHSX/DHSC?
The panel will be made up of senior digital transformation and design staff from NHSX.