This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 29 July 2021
NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA)

NHSBSA Expanding Digital Capacity

10 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 4 large

8 Completed applications

5 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 15 July 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 22 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 29 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The NHSBSA is looking for a partner to provide additional capability&capacity to work alongside the digital delivery directorate to deliver products and services on behalf of the NHSBSA.

This contract will provide teams onto a product or service with outcomes agreed with the NHSBSA Delivery Manager and Product/Service Owner.
Latest start date
Friday 1 October 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA)
Budget range
There is no minimum committed spend over the term of this contract.

There is no maximum spend, it is anticipated that approximate spend will be between £2.5 -£4 million over the duration of the contract.

To clarify the NHSBSA makes no commitment to any particular level of spend (actual spend agreed in SOWs) nor does it grant exclusivity to the selected supplier in respect of the services described in this opportunity.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is responsible for the delivery of a number of Digital Services we are looking for an initial two delivery squads who will work on services within the NHSBSA Portfolio. As the portfolio of services has grown over the past 24 months we require a partner who will be able to provide capable delivery squads to deliver services spanning, Alpha, Beta and Live phases.

Core capabilities for this contract would be:
Software Devlopment
Software Testing
Solution Design (Architecture)
Platform Engineers
DevOps
Problem to be solved
The NHSBSA is looking for a partner who will provide addition squads to support the delivery of Digital Services across the NHSBSA portfolio.

This will include the delivery of features on a product or service roadmap and the ongoing live operations of a specified product or service
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users of NHSBSA services include
Citizens
Clinicians (GP's, Pharmacists, Dentists, Optomitrists)
NHS Employees
NHS Employers
Early market engagement
An internal 8 week discovery was undertaken to clarify the following assumptions:-
* Commercially this can be done
* There is a market who would be willing to provide this service
* We can deliver services from outside of the UK
* There are no fundamental barriers from an IG or IS perspective
* Financially this would be comparable to existing costs
* We will follow the same standards and ways of working, including working hours

As part of this discovery we engaged with three existing NHSBSA suppliers to discuss the assumptions above.
Any work that’s already been done
The supplier will be working on established services which are either in alpha, beta or live phases, the supplier will be expected to maintain these services whilst also delivering new feature enhancements through an agile iterative approach of continuous review and improvement.
Existing team
The supplier will work with the existing NHSBSA digital delivery directorate and may also work with existing NHSBSA suppliers.

This will include roles from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management.

Specifically the NHSBSA will provide User Centred Design skills to the supplier including User Research, Service Design and Content Design.

Knowledge transfer back into NHSBSA will be required to enable NHSBSA to improve internal capability to build and support the services.

This contract will not prevent us from using other commercial arrangements, to put together teams.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The supplier will work at the suppliers location.
Working arrangements
The Supplier will work as a part of the Digital team, they will be viewed as part of the overall NHSBSA Digital Delivery Team with a one team ethos. The digital team work following Agile and GDS principles and it is expected that the successful supplier's people will work in this way.

The successful supplier must comply with relevant NHSBSA policies and standards.
Security clearance
Specific security requirements will be outlined in each Statement of Work. In the main no specific security clearance will be necessary however some roles and projects may require BPSS (Baseline Personal Security Standard) and a small number may require Security Clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

For the avoidance of doubt, all intellectual property rights in any data or deliverable shall be retained by, or transferred to, the NHSBSA, as appropriate.

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 a minimum of 2 years’ experience of successful Offshore/Nearshore capability for contracts of the same scale and skills/roles required, as part of a standard offering.(3%)
  • Demonstrate experience of providing capable delivery squads to deliver services remotely spanning, Alpha, Beta and Live phases in a public sector environment.(3%)
  • Illustrate your process for understanding client-requirements and deploying squads to deliver the requirements.(3%)
  • Demonstrate how the working day of the squad(s), considering their location, will fit with BSA core-working-hours (08:00-17:00 BST), ensuring effective&timely communication,to support key decision making and efficient delivery&use of time.(2%)
  • Please detail the geographical location of your proposed squad(s). This will be used to score and validate your responses to the following questions.(0%)
  • Confirm that the location of your proposed squad are within the countries listed below: EEA countries https://www.eea.europa.eu/countries-and-regions Adequate countries https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/adequacy-decisions_en (1%)
  • Confirm the squad working from the location where the squad is based, will have the benefit of rights&remedies no less than those given to individuals under equality&accessibility legislation in England&Wales.(1%)
  • In relation to the question above, provide details of any adjustments that might be needed to ensure that the squad working on this Contract will be provided with such rights&remedies(1%)
  • Demonstrate how you have ensured that all data and services are delivered securely in line with the requirements for UK data governance and data security.(2%)
  • Demonstrate your experience and methodology for ensuring that any project outputs and knowledge is handed to the customer, how you ensure or support the customer to maintain any delivered service.(2%)
  • The Supplier will need to provide their own suitable-IT kit, software&associated support. Please confirm that you can do this and how you will ensure the equipment is configured securely. (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/device-security-guidance/platform-guides)(2%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Tell us how one of your squads has developed a piece of work that has successfully passed GDS Service assessment or equivalent. How did you ensure delivery against organisational standards?(2.5%)
  • How do you manage the wellbeing of deployed resources and ensure that through delivery they are aligned with the culture and practices of the client/NHSBSA.(2.5%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate your experience and methodology of how you will transition the current workload of a delivery squad from the customer to yourselves,with minimum disruption to the existing programme of work.(5%)
  • Describe and evidence the level of accreditation and experience (number years) that roles (development, engineer, architect), as described in the requirements, will typically have. (4%)
  • Tell us about a similar engagement with an organisation, which did not go well, detail the challenges faced. How were these overcome? Detail the lessons learned.-What would you do differently?(4%)
  • Show how you have formed and deployed a complete project squad, with the right cultural fit to the client.(3%)
  • Detail/specify any assumptions made, risks identified, issues perceived, dependencies identified and detail how you propose to mitigate against them during course of contract through to contract closure and thereafter.(3%)
  • Describe/evidence your proposed reporting mechanisms to be used throughout the contract showing how contractual obligations are being met. Evidence how delivery to time/budget will be fully managed and maintained.(3%)
  • What squad structure/processes will you have in place to ensure achievement of contractual obligations?(3%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate an empowered ‘can do’ squad culture, encouraging constructive feedback and learning.(2.5%)
  • Demonstrate how your organisation works cohesively in meeting clients needs and how this would reflect the NHSBSA values (2.5%)
  • Describe how your organisation will create employment, re-training and other return to work opportunities for those left unemployed by COVID-19, particularly new opportunities in high growth sectors.(3%)
  • Describe how your organisation would execute the contract to ensure staff mental health, is promoted, and how you would monitor and measure this?(4%)
  • Describe how your organisation undertakes educational attainment relevant to the contract, including training schemes that address skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications.(3%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

25%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. As a supplier where will I need to register if shortlisted to the second stage?
Suppliers who are shortlisted and then wish to submit proposals must register on the NHSBSA’s e-tendering solution which can be found at

https://health-family.force.com/s/Welcome
2. Which scoring scoring methodology will be used. The standard DOS scoring Matrix or the NHS Business Services Authority scoring table?
This requirement this will be scored using the NHS Business Services Authority scoring table, not the standard DOS scoring matrix.
3. What is the NHS Business Services Authority Scoring Table?
NHSBSA scoring table.
Score Classification Criteria
0 Unacceptable Completely fails to meet required standard or
does not provide a proposal at all
1 Not Met Significantly fails to meet the standards required,
contains significant shortcomings in many areas
2 Partially Met Meets a number of required standards but falls
short of achieving required standard in a number
of identifiable areas
3 Mostly Met Meets the required standard in most(but not all)
material respects
4 Met Meets the required standard in all respects and
demonstrates a thorough understanding of the
requirement.

Score of 2 or less will be deemed a fail
4. Could the Authority provide the timescales for the procurement?
The estimated timescales are a follows
Deadline for Receipt of longlist responses 30/07/2021
Evaluation to shortlist completed by 09/08/2021
Invite shortlist into Atamis and issue ITT 10/08/2021
Deadline for Receipt of tender responses 24/08/2021
Presentations 01/09/2021 9.30 – 12.30
Evaluation, clarification and consensus completed by 03/09/2021
Contract award 14/09/2021
5. Does the essential skill requiring 2 years’ offshore/nearshore experience mean that onshore suppliers are excluded from this bid?
For the question Demonstrate a minimum of 2 years’ experience of successful Offshore/Nearshore capability for contracts of the same scale and skills/roles required, as part of a standard offering, onshore experience will be acceptable too.
6. Where does the separation lie between this opportunity and the NHSBSA Technology Resource Delivery Partner opportunity?
This is a separate requirement working with the Digital Directorate.
7. Please can you describe the level of feedback you will provide, and specifically what level of scoring (if any) will be shared with unsuccessful bidders.
Feedback for the shortlisting stage will be provided in line with the DOS guidance – ‘How to notify shortlisted suppliers’ found on the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-shortlist-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-suppliers#how-to-notify-shortlisted-suppliers
8. You seek confirmation that our proposed squad is within EEA countries (or Adequate countries). The link you provide is to countries within the European Environment Agency not those in the European Economic Area. Please confirm this is what you intended
The list is correct under the heading EEA Member countries. An alternative link is https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea
9. How many squads do you envisage running concurrently?
We expect to run an initial 2 squads, with the potential to increase this.
10. Who were the 3 NHSBSA suppliers consulted as part of the Early market engagement...? And aren’t there obvious advantages to simply using those suppliers for this requirement versus appointing a new supplier..?
We consulted our current supplier base to gather insight into this requirement, those suppliers were procured for specific deliverables and as such not all of the areas we would like to consider for this requirement were part of those procurements. We are always keen to identify and work with the best suppliers for each requirement.
11. The advert states “This will include roles from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management” and “the NHSBSA will provide User Centred Design skills to the supplier including User Research, Service Design and Content Design”.
Could the Authority clarify about the precise role requirements?
As outlined in the requirements under ‘why this work is being done’ the NHSBSA require the following core capabilities from the supplier

Core capabilities for this contract would be:
Software Development
Software Testing
Solution Design (Architecture)
Platform Engineers
DevOps
12. We note that that the question:
• Confirm that the location of your proposed squad are within the countries listed below: EEA countries https://www.eea.europa.eu/countries-and-regions Adequate countries https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/adequacy-decisions_en (1%)
Infers that suppliers with facilities for off-shore delivery outside of the EEA are to be excluded – can you please confirm if this is true?
Suppliers outside of the EEA will not be excluded, we require all suppliers to demonstrate how they would ensure that any data processes provide equivalent protection to that which would be sought under UK data protection laws.
13. We note that that the question:
• Confirm that the location of your proposed squad are within the countries listed below: EEA countries https://www.eea.europa.eu/countries-and-regions Adequate countries https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/adequacy-decisions_en (1%)
Infers that suppliers with facilities for off-shore delivery outside of the EEA are to be excluded even if meeting the relevant data and Cyber security requirements– can you please confirm if this is true?
"Suppliers outside of the EEA will not be excluded, we require all suppliers to demonstrate how they would ensure that any data processes provide equivalent protection to that which would be sought under UK data protection laws."
14. We note that that the question:
“Confirm that the location of your proposed squad are within the countries listed below: EEA countries https://www.eea.europa.eu/countries-and-regions Adequate countries https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/adequacy-decisions_en (1%)”
Infers that suppliers with facilities for off-shore delivery outside of the EEA are to be excluded even if they have ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus facilities that already adopt NHS secure development practices for major programmes. – can you please confirm if this is true?
"Suppliers outside of the EEA will not be excluded, we require all suppliers to demonstrate how they would ensure that any data processes provide equivalent protection to that which would be sought under UK data protection laws."
15. Is there a day rate cap?
Days rates will be capped as follows:-
Software developer - £320
Test Engineer - £260
Technical Architect - £420
Infrastructure Engineer - £420
Development Operations Engineer - £370
16. At the proposal stage, in order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated: will you be evaluating by the total price, rate card or both? How do you ensure that you are completing a genuine value for money comparison rather than just a rate card comparison?
it will be evaluated by rate card.

The written proposal responses will demonstrate the supplier’s capability to deliver.

Value for money will be achieved by implementation of KPIs and management of the contract.
17. Apart from question 2, where you specifically require public sector experience, do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
Public sector experience and private sector experience will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question, unless public sector experience is specifically requested.
18. Is it permissible to provide more than one example where required to fully address the question?
It is permissible to provide more than one example. We will be assessing in line with the following DOS guidance. – “Suppliers are required to provide one example for each ‘skills and experience’ requirement. Unless you have asked for several examples, you should not score suppliers higher or lower because they gave more or less examples than another supplier”.
19. Can you please advise who the incumbent suppliers are?
There is no incumbent supplier for this requirement.
20. The Expected geographical location of your proposed squad(s) are required to be within the countries listed as per
• EEA Member countries
• Other Countries as determined by EU having adequate level of data protection
Is this mandatory and are there any possible options /exceptions /considerations for having delivery location to include INDIA
Suppliers outside of the EEA will not be excluded, we require all suppliers to demonstrate how they would ensure that any data processes provide equivalent protection to that which would be sought under UK data protection laws and that the location where the squad is based, will have the benefit of rights&remedies no less than those given to individuals under equality&accessibility legislation in England&Wales
21. Are there details on projects (domain wise)?
We anticipate to run an initial 2 squads operating across two services from the NHSBSA portfolio.
22. How many applications would be targeted for maintenance?
We expect this requirement to be for an initial 2 squads across two services. The number of applications making up a specific service varies dependent upon your definition of an application.
23. As the Service portfolio of NHSBSA has grown in recent times, it is currently looking for addition of 2 Delivery Squads to support them.
Can you provide any addition information on the tentative size / structure of the Delivery Squad ?
Tentatively we would anticipate a delivery squad to comprise of
- 2 Developers
- 1 Tester
- 1 Dev Ops

The shared across two squads
- 1 Platform Engineer
- 1 Solution Architect

This is estimated but would be roughly the baseline teams
24. Are the applications deployed in field? If so, how many customers/users?
The NHSBSA primarily provide services which are available to UK citizens or other Heath Organisations, therefore the services will have multiple millions of users.
25. Are there details on projects (domain wise)?
We anticipate to run an initial 2 squads operating across two services from the NHSBSA portfolio.
26. Your stated core hours (08:00-17:00) are longer than a typical working day. Do you require all squads to be available for all of these 9 hours + time zone offset?
A core working day is 7.5 hours between the hours of 08:00 – 17:00
27. Which roles will be represented on the evaluation panel?
The evaluation panel will representatives from the Digital directorate.
28. To what extent (if at all) will the delivery of this engagement be aligned to the Service Manual https://www.gov.uk/service-manual and associated GDS assessments?
All NHSBSA services are aligned to the Service Manual – irrespective of if they fall under GDS assessment or not.
29. Will you be able to organise access to users and other stakeholders throughout the project(s)?
The client will be providing User Centred Design skills to the teams, including User Research and Stakeholder needs. The client will also provide product owners and service owners who will represent the views of stakeholders.
30. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
The client will provide all user research as outlined in the requirements.
31. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to each project?
The product owner will be allocated a minimum of 50% to the project.
32. The Core capabilities for this contract would be:
Software Development
Software Testing
Solution Design (Architecture)
Platform Engineers
DevOps
• Can you provide any additional details on the Technology Stack / Skills /experience expected from Delivery Squad team ?
The main elements would be

AWS platforms and Services
Node JS
Java
33. Could the Authority share policies on ” equality & accessibility legislation in England&Wales”
Please find relevant information below.

Equality Act 2010
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

Gender recognition act 2004
Gender Recognition Act 2004 (legislation.gov.uk)

Equality and Human rights commission
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en

Understanding accessibility requirements for public sector bodies
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/accessibility-requirements-for-public-sector-websites-and-apps

The public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) accessibility Regulations 2018
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/852/contents/made
34. Can you provide a link for the Gender recognition act
Gender recognition act 2004

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/7/contents