This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 22 October 2021
NHS England

Cancer Waiting Times User Research

11 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 3 large

5 Completed applications

4 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 8 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 15 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 22 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
NHSE are looking for an experienced User Research Discovery and Alpha team to capture user needs and translate them into prototype potential solutions that will inform the long-term design of the future of the CWT platform.
The User Research Discovery phase will consolidate initial findings from research from operational Discovery.
Latest start date
Monday 8 November 2021
Expected contract length
Up to 16 weeks
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
NHS England
Budget range
£76,000 plus VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The purpose of the Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) project is to maintain and improve the system used by providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS England and NHS Improvement national teams, and Cancer Alliances to fulfil statutory obligations on the reporting and monitoring of Cancer Waiting Times data.
NHSE/I are developing the future roadmap for improvements to and development of the CWT System and therefore need to identify the needs of the Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) system users.
A five year programme business case was approved for the CWT system in 2020/21. This piece of user research will inform the roadmap for the remaining years of the programme, ensuring that future development is user-focused, enables the system to run optimally and reduces maintenance and development overheads. The outcomes from this piece of user research will also inform plans for the eventual replacement of the CWT system at the end of its useful working life, ensuring that any new system improves functionality from the perspective of its users.
Problem to be solved
We want to understand the current user experience to identify areas of improvement to maximise benefits and reduce the burden associated with accurately reporting and analysing CWT data.
Aims:
• Define User types (who are the different groups of users).
• Identify the needs of users of the CWT system to enable the design of a sustainable, performant and highly adopted system.
• Use these insights on problems to identify solutions which can be developed as part of our 5 year programme business case (of which four years remain).
We want to understand what users need from the system under three key domains:
1. Responsiveness
2. Appearance and ease of use
3. Reporting
Design challenges and research questions:
• What does the long-term CWT system roadmap look like if driven by user needs (including NHSE/I) rather than supplier needs?
• How can the Cancer Waiting Times system satisfy the needs of different user groups (Trust, Cancer Alliances, NHSE&I Data analytics, Clinical Commissioning Groups)?
• How can a CWT system solution stay aligned with NHSX Standards (data strategy, technical architecture) and leverage new/existing technologies?
Who the users are and what they need to do
We are looking for a team to help us further understand the problems our users are looking to overcome and any constraints, risks and opportunities we may face as defined by users.
Following this we are looking to prototype and test potential solutions to decide whether to take them forward, however the focus of this project is on user research.
Users of the platform include staff across the health and social care community in England (Trusts, Cancer Alliances, NHSE&I Data analytics, Clinical Commissioning Groups).
Users need to be able to share data, upload reports, download, and view. A CWT User Group has been formed to provide feedback on suggested development work for the system.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
NHSX partnered with a User Centred Design (UCD) agency Snook, to compose a team tasked with delivering a Procurement and Operational Discovery.
A key recommendation of this work was the adoption of a more user-centred development approach.
This has led in turn to this proposal for more detailed User Research, bringing in additional expertise to support a short and focused Discovery project.
Existing team
The NHSE&I Faster Diagnosis team will work closely with the provider. User Research outputs will be presented to the CWT Delivery Group, who provide project governance.
NHSX Digital Transformation Lead will steer the User Research Discovery, a Technical Architect will align potential Alpha that would come out of the User Research Discovery phase, with NHSX tech standards, protocols.
As our product supplier, NHS Digital (NHSD), will be engaged in the project. NHSD employ Mastek, an off-shore third party supplier who produce development items. The CWT User Group should also be engaged as they are frontline users of the CWT system.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote. The existing team has offices in London and Leeds.
We expect the supplier will conduct most of the work remotely and will be able to provide the facilities for remote working with the existing team. There may be a requirement for travel to London or Leeds for the occasional meetings or workshops if required.
Working arrangements
We expect the supplier will conduct most of the work remotely and will be able to provide the facilities for remote working with the existing team. A high-level timeline has been included below.
We will work according to the Agile principles as documented in the Government & NHS Digital service manuals. We will expect the chosen supplier to perform and provide evidence of such practices in operation.

User Research onboarding & kickoff - 8-10th Nov - Provider & NHSX
User research discovery - 11-16th Nov - Provider & NHSE/I
Playback findings & handover - 20-23rd Dec - Provider & NHSE/I
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All outputs will be owned by NHS England & NHS Improvement and published openly where appropriate using a suitable open license that supports reuse

2. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of NHS England & NHS Improvement.

3. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract).

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
  • Experience of designing and building collaboration services for use by multiple organisations
  • Experience of designing services compliant with the NHS Service Standard, including using the NHS Service Design Manual, Technology Code of Practice, GOV.UK service manual and undertaking service assessments.
  • Demonstrate experience with NHS Data analytics systems
  • Demonstrate experience of designing advanced search solutions, and experience with data systems that extract and load large amounts of data.
  • Demonstrate experience of designing data systems e.g. ETL pipelines
  • Demonstrate experience of developing APIs and building integrations between products for different organisations.
  • Demonstrate building analytical tools to monitor application trends.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience with Cancer-related projects

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Your proposed team and their roles
  • Your approach and methodology
  • How your approach will help us meet our needs
  • Your proposed timeframes for the work
  • Costs
  • Your approach to risks and their mitigations
  • Cultural fit criteria below
  • A case study of having undertaken a User Research Discovery /Alpha project
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share your work frequently, openly, honestly and constructively challenging preconceptions
  • Challenge the status quo
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could the Authority confirm the Expected contract length? At one place it is mentioned as 16 weeks whereas elsewhere it seems to be about 6-7 weeks?
User Research onboarding & kickoff – 8-10th Nov – Provider & NHSX
User research discovery – 11-16th Nov – Provider & NHSE/I
Playback findings & handover – 20-23rd Dec – Provider & NHSE/I
The discovery length has been updated
Discovery team onboarding and kick off 8-10/11/21
Discovery 11/11-16/12/21
Playback of discovery findings and handover 21/12-23/12/21
2. Will the incumbent product supplier be willing to share technical details of the system?
Yes, they are aware of the User Research piece taking place, and have agreed to engage with the supplier.
3. Is the requirement for quantitative as well as qualitative research?
Yes
4. Will the research be with the existing user group or is some participant recruitment required, and if so, who would be responsible for recruitment?
NHSE/I have an existing CWT User Group made up of key holders, however we would also recruit users through our other internal channels if the population required broadening.
5. Will this delivery be insider IR35?
Off-payroll (IR35) determination. Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company.
6. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Matt Keeling (Transformational lead CWT/FDS), Sehrish Hussain (Snr Programme Manager CWT/FDS), Ayesha Dave (Project Manager CWT/FDS), Diane Pochard (Digital Transformation Lead, NHSX), and Alex Smith (Technical Architect, NHSX)
7. Could the Authority confirm the Expected contract length? At one place it is mentioned as 16 weeks whereas elsewhere it seems to be about 6-7 weeks?
Its 6-7 weeks sorry so this should be amended
8. Could the Authority confirm that the “Essential skills and experience” questions are correct? They seem to be more around designing, building and developing that user research and discovery. 1 of 2
Designing and building skills were included for the prototyping part of the discovery.
user research-centric:
- Experience turning research data into clear findings that inform decisions, know how to involve colleagues in analysis and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions.
- Understand the diversity of users of government services, know how to include all kinds of users in appropriate research activities to help teams deliver accessible services.
- Understand and have experience of a range of user research methods, can choose appropriate methods for different stages of the product life cycle and situations. know how to apply methods correctly.
9. Could the Authority confirm that the “Essential skills and experience” questions are correct? They seem to be more around designing, building and developing that user research and discovery. 2 of 2
- Understanding of the organisational strategy and objectives. You can align user research activities with objectives to create strategic insights that inform policy and proposition.
- Technical understanding. You demonstrate knowledge of the technologies used to build and operate digital services. You understand the different technical roles in a multidisciplinary team.
- User-centred and agile practices. You understand user-centred design practices and know how to embed them into an agile workflow to deliver timely findings. You can work in an open, iterative and collaborative way in a multidisciplinary team.
10. 10. You mention that NHSX partnered with a User Centred Design (UCD) agency, Snook, to compose a team tasked with delivering a Procurement and Operational Discovery.
1) Is Snook still involved in the project?
2) What was missing from the original work, and could it not be supplied by Snook? Does the new team need to have more health/cancer-related project experience, for example?
1) No
2) The original work identified some initial user personas but did not proceed to do user research with these, recommendation from the report:
"User Research can commence to understand user groups and users needs. Early prototyping of the system could help to understand how users throughout the NHS might make the best use of the data available to them." I don't think health/cancer related experience is a requirement, it might be useful, but not essential
11. 11. Is there an incumbent supplier?
If this means a supplier of the CWT system, then yes NHSD currently supply the system
12. 12. The spec states “The User Research Discovery phase will consolidate initial findings from research from operational Discovery.” Is this an extension contract?
No
13. 13. Please can you clarify the relationship between the skills and experience required vs the task in hand to conduct user research? The desired skills and experience (quite technical), for which you are evaluating responses against, are not aligned with the skills needed to undertake an effective and productive user research focused (people and process orientated) project. Because of the evaluation criteria and disparity we will sadly not respond to what is a very interesting project and engagement.
The objective of the discovery is to undertake user research, identify user groups and user needs, and use these insights to frame opportunities to design solutions for. Additionally candidate solutions will be identified, and taken forward to prototype, to be tested with users and iterated based on feedback and observations. The team should be multidisciplinary and include user researchers, service designers and some development resources to enable functional prototyping. The extent and functionality of any candidate alpha prototype solutions would be explored as part of the discovery work, and depend on the needs identified.
14. Demonstrate experience of designing advanced search solutions, and experience with data systems that extract and load large amounts of data.”, could the Authority provide more clarity on the requirement on advanced search solutions?
Advanced search solutions include systems that do structured searches over complex data items, so for example an Amazon/Ebay product search (with multiple dimensions) as opposed to a simple postcode lookup. Any experience designing solutions of this sort would be advantageous. Currently the CWT system handles around 2M records per month so experience with similar sized ETL type projects would be useful.
15. Will the research be with the existing user group or is some participant recruitment required, and if so, who would be responsible for recruitment?
The research will be conducted with users of the system.
Research planning and recruitment will be completed by the discovery team.
16. Is the requirement for quantitative as well as qualitative research?
Qualitative research.
17. Will the incumbent product supplier be willing to share technical details of the system?
Access to the existing system will not be required, but I can advise on the technical architecture of the existing solution and any technical queries the supplier may have.
18. What are the current technologies used?
Currently the system is developed in .NET, but this will not be relevant to the work as the discovery/alpha should not be bound by the existing technology stack.