Awarded to Cyber-Duck

Start date: Wednesday 28 April 2021
Value: £63,000
Company size: SME
Essex County Council

User Research to Support Social Care Platforms Programme – CO0062

20 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 5 large

45 Completed applications

40 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 22 February 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 1 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 8 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Run a discovery to help Essex County Council (ECC) understand the experiences of our social care service users and how our technology choices will impact them.
Latest start date
Tuesday 20 April 2021
Expected contract length
6 - 12 weeks
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Essex County Council
Budget range
Estimated budget - £70,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
Essex County Council is running a Social Care Platform Programme (SCPP) focused on the future of the platforms used by Adult and Children’s Social Care and other corporate teams. An internal team is working to validate and prioritise the requirements for social care and other corporate teams.
To inform this work, we want to run some research to help us understand the experiences and needs of users. The audience groups that need to be considered for this discovery are:
• Service users
• Carers
• Care providers
• Partner agencies
• Other public/third partner organisations.
We would like to understand more about what people need, when they need it and how they’re currently accessing this so that we can consider more efficient and timely ways to share information.
Insights from this discovery will be used to inform the strategic approach, design and requirements for the procurement of a future social care platform.
Problem to be solved
We want to deepen our understanding of the experiences of people that interact with our social care services, from residents to partner organisations. We are currently reviewing ECC's social care platforms and it is critical that our technology choices align with user needs and don’t negatively impact people’s experiences. At the moment, residents:
• Are not clear what support is available to them
• Access support late
• Have to repeatedly tell us the same information
• Can’t easily understand their care plan.
Working with the supplier, we want to deepen our understanding of user needs to explore how our platforms can better support them.
We need to understand more about:
• the type of social care information people need, when they want it and how they want to access it
• the different channels that people currently use to access information and if this aligns to their needs and preferences
• the experiences of the other audience groups listed above and what their needs are
This work will help us to understand the impact that different social care platform solutions will have on users and allow us to make a more informed decision when reviewing potential platforms.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a person who uses care services, I need my information to be accurate so that I don’t have to tell you multiple times when things change
As a person who uses care services, I need to see and understand my care plan and be able to share my views so that I can influence the decisions that are made.
As someone who needs social care support I need to apply for help and understand my eligibility so that I can make decisions about getting the right help in place.
As a carer I need to be able to organise and manage care services for another person so that I can ensure they get the care they need
As a care provider, I need to be able to share information about a care recipient so that I can work with ECC to coordinate the right care for people
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
There’s a good amount of existing work that we can draw on to help inform this discovery:
- discovery around future models for Adult Social Care in Essex
- discovery around ASC financial assessments
- discovery around ASC Information, advice and guidance
Existing team
Subject Matter Experts – Children & Adult Social Care
Service Transformation team leads will be stakeholders in this work.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote
Working arrangements
In the current circumstances, we anticipate the team will work remotely and communicate via Microsoft Teams. Essex County Council use other collaboration tools such as Miro. All project ceremonies such as stand-ups, sprint planning and show and tells will be held by video conferencing on Microsoft Teams
Security clearance
N/A

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

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
  • How you work in a user centered, multidisciplinary team
  • Recent experience planning and carrying out appropriate user research and how your insights informed what happened next
  • Tell us about a time when your user research worked closely with a technical discovery to help inform the implementation of new technologies
  • Knowledge and expertise in inclusive design, including accessibility
  • Able to tell us how you build and maintain positive relationships with a range of internal stakeholders across an organisation
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of having passed a government, local government or NHS digital service assessment
  • Provide evidence of working in a user-centered way in adults and/or children's social care services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • How to approach research and design that enables clarity around meeting user needs
  • The proposed approach to conducting the discovery phase
  • The skills your team will bring
  • How to plan and run research with vulnerable or at-risk people
  • How to create understanding and appreciation of user centered design with teams new to this way of working
  • How to create alignment with senior leaders and stakeholders
  • How to create to a strong narrative to ensure we’re able to share insights that support the selection of a social care platform has user needs at its core
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as one team with our project team
  • Be transparent and collaborative
  • Share knowledge and experience with ECC team members
  • Be comfortable in advocating for agile practices, user centered and inclusive design
  • Care as much about safeguarding our participants and projects teams as we do
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
There is currently no incumbent provider for User Research, this is a new requirement.
2. Who’s on the panel?
The panel will be made up of Leads from the Service Transformation Team and representatives from Social Care
3. Is the £70k budget inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
The budget is exclusive of VAT.
4. Objectives
What will this user research feed into? What are the immediate next steps once you have the insights?
The user research will feed into the tech discovery work into social care platforms. This will ensure that we are able to evaluate the impact of any potential platform solutions against user needs. We also want this discovery to set us up for a solid alpha phase
5. Sample
You mentioned a number of different audiences you would like to target: please provide more details about these groups, and what their roles are in social care. Any examples would be helpful, especially:
Care providers
Partner agencies
Other public/third party organisations
Social care teams work to support families alongside many partner agencies including health (GPs, Community nursing teams, hospital teams and specialist teams), district councils (housing, environment health), school nurses, police, probation, fire and ambulance services.

Referrals are received from a range of professionals, support plans may require working together to meet people's needs and teams will regularly work together at a strategic level in county-wide forums.

Care providers include residential homes, domiciliary care & independent living providers and personal assistants. Providers share information and work proactively with social care professionals around people's needs and also manage some financial aspects
6. Do you have any expectations for the sample size for each audience group, or how you would want to weight them? Are some audience groups a higher priority than others?
It is our assumption that the research will be weighted towards services users. The other audiences in the list are in priority order based on what we know at the moment.
7. Will ECC support with recruitment? For example, providing contacts / target list of the different audience groups, especially:
Care providers
Partner agencies
Other public/third party organisations
Yes, ECC will provide support
8. Approach/methodology
Is there a plan for ECC to share initial/draft social care platform ideas in the research for the respondents to respond to? If so, what format will this be in?
Yes, there is the potential for this to take place, however at present we have not agreed the format.
9. Do the ECC and other key stakeholders have a desire to view the research interviews live?
Yes, but only if appropriate for the participants. We understand the sensitivity of the research and safeguarding of participants is our priority
10. Can we see the outputs of the discoveries that are referred to in the proposals?
The discovery is still on going, so nothing we can share yet. The successful supplier will have access to the team working on it during this Discovery piece.
11. Has a piece of existing software already been identified for use as a social care platform?
No. There is a discovery running alongside this work looking into that
12. What help would Essex County Council provide in the recruitment of participants?
We can provide support in recruitment through providing lists and appropriate contacts
13. Please confirm what your current tech stack is and any preference for future tech stacks?
This discovery is focused on understanding and articulating the needs of users and partners as stated above. Insights from this work will inform wider programme activities which include the creation of busines requirements and a tech discovery.
14. Could the work be undertaken with a distributed team – some within UK and some outside of UK, all having necessary security clearances ?
Yes
15. What format are the outputs of:
discovery around future models for Adult Social Care in Essex
discovery around ASC financial assessments
discovery around ASC Information, advice and guidance
Who delivered these discoveries and what action has been taken on recommendations?
There are final reports from the previous discovery activities. They were undertaken in partnership with FutureGov. The recommendations have provided a wide range of insights to teams across ECC but no specific alpha/beta projects have been undertaken.
16. What access will we have to:
Subject Matter Experts – Children & Adult Social Care
Service Transformation team leads
Do you have a product / programme lead and team roles dedicated already, or need us to design the team?
We would like you to supply a product lead and full team to carry out the discovery. The role of the Leads is likely to be very lightweight
17. Is there a budget already raised for an alpha phase?
No
18. Have you got examples of other councils where this has been done well?
Buckinghamshire County Council have done some interesting work in this space. But ECC would love to hear who you think has done well in this space.
19. What is the ECC tech strategy / tech stack and current tech resources and can we have oversight of this at the proposal stage?
This discovery is focused on understanding and articulating the needs of users and partners as stated above. Insights from this work will inform wider programme activities which include the creation of busines requirements and a tech discovery.
20. What impact would you want this platform to have? I.e. Is it already aligned / informed by a business case, policy or success metric?
Insights from this discovery will be used to inform the strategic approach, design and requirements for the procurement of future social care platforms.
21. Would you be willing to receive other recommendations if they better met the needs of users? I.e. that if procuring a ‘platform’ was not best fit solution.
Yes