Awarded to AHLC Solutions Ltd.

Start date: Friday 18 February 2022
Value: £188,880
Company size: SME
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Specialist digital team: deliver discovery and business case for regional Genomic IT architecture

7 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 3 large

12 Completed applications

8 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Thursday 9 December 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 16 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 23 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
NW & NE & Y GMSA's require a team with knowledge of healthcare informatics to provide an interoperability/integration view of North of England and deliver a discovery report and a business case for investment.
Latest start date
Monday 7 February 2022
Expected contract length
3-4 Months
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Budget range
It is estimated the work can be delivered within the budget range of £150,000 to £250,000 (excluding VAT).

We anticipate that this work has considerable market opportunity and Added Value Proposals are welcomed from suppliers to invest and work alongside the commissioner organisation up to matched funding.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Digital DNA project is being undertaken by the two GMSAs to identify and design an architecture and technology solutions to support a growing use of genomic medicine in the NHS; providing a simplified, integrated, scalable, secure and resilient landscape. The architecture will provide the ability to collaborate at the point of care with multi-region partners and clinical teams, to exploit the available datasets for the benefit of individual patients and to improve outcomes. This will enable nationwide realisation of NHSEI's vision for genomics to become a mainstream, high-volume diagnostic service for cancers and rare disease that can deliver effective personalised medicine as part of the standard of care. This diagnostic architecture will sit within a research ecosystem that will foster a culture of innovation in the field of genomics.
Problem to be solved
Aim of the project is to connect key stakeholder groups across the NW, NE & Yorkshire regions;

• Primary and Secondary Care clinicians including improved quality of clinical description of patients, requesting test orders, receiving diagnostic results and integrated/shared clinical management of patients;
• Oncologists and Pathologists requesting genomic test orders as part of a suite of diagnostic cancer tests;
• Detailed system catalogue of all regional information systems relevant for electronic ordering and reporting, including planned changes. This should include:
• Refresh systems review work previously conducted
• Discovery and mapping of IT systems and infrastructure across specialties and geographies;
• Mapping test ordering and reporting pathways to IT systems, data flows and infrastructure across the North;
• Mapping of Information Governance, including but not limited to who are the IG leads, leadership on IG for groups of organisations, existing data sharing agreements;
• Engagement with PPI, clinical and information governance leads;
• Development of designs for architectural options;
• Use case testing for clinical pathways demonstrating how options meet general requirements as well as geographical and system variations;
o Whole Genome Sequencing (RD)
o Familial hypercholesterolemia (RD)
o Solid tumour (e.g. DYPD)
o Haem-onc (e.g. ML or AL)
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a regional clinician I need to order a genomic test and received informed results and clinical advice effectively and efficiently, with single sign on. I need to be able to obtain clincial advice from clinical genetics experts without the need to refer patients to clinical genomics.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
NW GMSA - A high level requirement analysis and description of infrastructure / architecture was undertaken by IBM in 2019-20.

NEY GMSA - Mapping of systems undertaken by regional care record services, such as the Yorkshire and The Humber Care Record and Great North Care Record. These are from 2018 and will need to be updated and extended to cover pathology systems.
Existing team
Rebecca Gamble - NW GMSA Programme Manager
Mark Hurrell - NEY GMSA Project Manager
Andrew Michaelson - NEY GMSA Technical Lead
Jan Taylor - NW GMSA Informatics Lead
John Fraser - NEY GMSA Informatics Lead
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Manchester; work across North of England
Working arrangements
Work within office hours, with no requirement to be on site. Weekly progress meetings and monthly written highlight report.
1.Map IT patient records and information management systems, integration engines, shared records, data flow
2.Map IG leads, data sharing agreements
3.Communications Materials
4.Interim Report (March/April 22) summary, pathways and IG mapping
b.requirements, future state design, likely funding requirements
c.Key points of case, benefits and implementation plan
5.Full Report (May-22)
a.Detailed requirements and solution
b.Costed business case for a regional architecture supporting relevant clinical pathways.
c.Options appraisal of systems/applications
e.High-level implementation plan, with regional ICSs and pathology network agreement
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Contract to be used.
Payment Terms to be Monthly and to be agreed subject to the final pricing.

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
  • Demonstrable experience providing consulting in digital healthcare in the UK and/or Internationally at Exec level
  • At least 3 years recent experience designing informatic architectures at system scale
  • Demonstrable experience of successful delivery of investment cases within the NHS, Public Sector, Central Government or complimentary sector.
  • Be available to undertake this work for a 3-4 month period anticipated to be from early Feb 22 onwards.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Recognised and credible authority on healthcare informatics and focus on 'future health' issues UK and/or Internationally

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure and Governance Arrangements
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Risks management
  • Value for money and Investment Opportunity
Cultural fit criteria
  • Working as a team with commissioning organisation
  • Able to build trust and credibility
  • Open and transparent
  • Collaborative approach to decision making
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Deliver quality outputs and timely
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you kindly confirm that you will not want proposals by the 23rd Dec deadline and that this deadline only applies to the DOS responses to Essential and Nice-to-have skills/experience?
Yes indeed. Only the DOS responses please by the 23rd December for Essential and Nice-to-have skills/experience. These will not be reviewed until the New Year so no further information will be sought over the Christmas holidays.
2. In the page linked to the main advertisement about Q&A, you say “We envisage inviting a minimum of 3 bidders or more forward for written proposals.” In the main advertisement page, you say “All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.” Could you please clarify?
Apologies that should read "All shortlisted suppliers" will be asked to provide a written proposal. We anticipate this will be in early January with a further 2 week period to complete this proposal task. We will provide a template to shortlisted bidders.
3. Is this bid restricted only for prior Healthcare experience or open to all ?
If forms then it is not compliant with the DOS5 guidelines section 8,discrimination minatory clause.
The bid is not restricted and is open to all.
4. Essential skills :” experience providing consulting in digital healthcare in the UK and/or Internationally at Exec level’.
Re:Nice to Skills : on ‘future health’ issues UK and/or Internationally
Both the above requirements are discriminatory from DOS5 viewpoint as it won’t allow new suppliers to bid fairly for the project.
Please elaborate based on the below evidence why prior NHS experience is needed for the bid ?
Extracts (page -8)
“It is discriminatory to suppliers to state that they must have previous experience working in the public sector
The supplier must be able to articulate a successful multi-organisation architecture design in a healthcare environment, demonstrating an understanding of potential barriers posed by this unique environment, including but not limited to national, regional and local information governance and issues encountered with interoperability/interfacing in the English NHS. We will consider all relevant experiences from across all sectors and including new entrants that can demonstrate the required skills and experience from within all environments and complex commercial organisations which are highly regulated (eg financial or pharmaceutical) and could therefore articulate the approach. Experience will not be limited to PS. Thank you.
5. Regarding response for Q4.Can you please update the Essential skills and Nice-to-have skills to reflect the non-discrimination based on prior PS experience ? This will ensure the scoring mechanism reflects the intent expressed in the Q4 clarification.
The framework does not appear to allow us to "edit" the published requirements. Our clarification therefore remains that all bidders will be treated fairly as expressed in the Q4 clarification.
6. In the ‘nice-to-have’ questions, you request information on being a “Recognised and credible authority on healthcare informatics and focus on ‘future health’ issues UK and/or Internationally”. As above, DOS guidance talks of answering the questions with 1 example; however this specific question could benefit from showcasing the breadth and depth of the company and its leadership through more than 1 example, for instance, sharing different examples where the company’s authority was recognised etc. Would it be acceptable to answer this question with more than 1 example?
We think one example should be sufficient at this stage and conscious of the word count that they may be difficult to includes further examples. Other examples could be referenced by bullet points.
7. You request a response in up to 100 words on the topic: “Be available to undertake this work for a 3-4 month period anticipated to be from early February 22 onwards”. As before, the guidance in DOS is to provide 1 example in up to 100 words explaining what the situation was, what the team was etc. How does this apply in this specific question on availability to undertake the work? Or is it ok to answer this question with a simple yes/no answer on our company’s availability to start on the expected date?
A "yes" would work. Maybe also a commitment/guarantee that this could be delivered in the timescale? Shortlisted bidders will be asked to go into detail regarding the team and the timeline, project plan and responsibilities between client and supplier through a written proposal.
8. You are requesting evidence of demonstrable experience of successful delivery of investment cases within the NHS, Public Sector, Central Government or complementary sector. Again, do you expect 1 single example in any of these sectors, or a mix of examples showing the breadth and depth of each company’s relevant experience across most or all of these sectors?
1 example is acceptable, an indication of more if there are any is helpful. We are looking for a demonstrable track record. Supplier should articulate level of case delivered, be it SOC, OBC or FBC.

Success in this case is delivering a good quality business case, accepted by customers/commissioners of the work, not necessarily delivery of implementation.
9. The DOS questions suggest that for each question we select only 1 example and 100 words (or less), we explain what the situation was, what the team did etc. However, some of the questions may benefit from a broader description than just 1 example, for instance, at least 3 years recent experience designing information architectures at system scale. Given we are asked to showcase at least 3 years or recent experience, could this be done through a series of examples, or are you still expecting 1 single example covering 3 years?
1 example will be okay as we would not want to deviate from the guidance. Suggest you include your strongest example at this stage.
10. Can you please elaborate on ‘Informatic architecture’ ?
Structural design of components including but not limited to information systems, applications and databases with appropriate integration/interoperability/interfaces required to complete necessary business objectives.
11. Re:Experiences in NHS,Govt or complementary sector.
Does the complementary sector include a critical financial services sector ?
Yes, it can be from any sector and that demonstrates the capabilities of the organisation.
12. Re:Be available to undertake this work for a 3-4 month period anticipated to be from early Feb 22 onwards.
Do you expect a binary response or elaborate response ion this question ?
A yes confirmation will meet the requirement. Added value will also help exceed the requirement.