This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 14 October 2022
NHS England and Improvement

Digital Transformation Support for Mental Health

20 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 4 large

48 Completed applications

32 SME, 16 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 30 September 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 7 October 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 14 October 2022 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
The Digital Mental Health team is seeking to run multiple investigatory pieces of work across priority pathways in Mental Health to inform the development of support for local systems to improve data sharing and the use of Digital Health Technologies within their pathways
Latest start date
Monday 5 December 2022
Expected contract length
4 months
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
NHS England and Improvement
Budget range
Up to £400,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is a historic treatment gap in mental health provision in England and we must take advantage of the role digital can play in enabling transformation to help the system close that gap. This work is in line with the ambitions in the NHS Long-Term Plan (LTP) to support the development of digitally enabled pathways of care that used a range of digital tools, and supports the integration agenda for mental health providers to be connected with each other and the wider system partners.

Data Sharing

A focus of this work will be to extend our understanding how data and information currently flows between care settings, organisations, and geographies, as well as between professionals and citizens, and identifying tangible improvements in the collection, sharing and use of this information.

DHTs

The other focus for the work will be on deepening our understanding how Digital Health Technologies (DHTs) can improve care delivery at the local level. This understanding will inform the intention of local support for the adoption, scaling and optimisation of DHTs that support our LTP ambitions around access, improved outcomes, care pathway improvement and supporting the workforce.
Problem to be solved
Data Sharing

Effective data sharing is a critical but complex challenge across mental health care pathways. The team are looking for this work to:
• Build on previous and current work mapping data sharing in mental health
• Improve understanding of how data and information currently flows across these pathways, including barriers and pain-points
• Improve understanding of data needs from different users within these pathways
• Identify tangible opportunities for transformation to enable more effective data flows
• Inform the design and delivery of meaningful transformation across these pathways

DHTs

The COVID pandemic rapidly increased the number of DHTs being used in mental health services.
The team are looking for this work to:
• Extend our understanding of how DHTs are used across priority pathways and specific pain-points in pathways
• Improve understanding of needs from different users involved in implementation and optimisation of these technologies
• Identify tangible opportunities for transformation to enable DHTs to deliver benefit to services
• Inform the design and delivery of meaningful transformation across these pathways

Both focuses will involve aspects of service mapping to enable an understanding of the pain-points and opportunities within the context of the whole service.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Data Sharing

As a team developing national policy and guidance for mental health services, I need to understand the data sharing requirements in mental health and the current barriers to sharing so that we can develop appropriate support for local systems.

As an Integrated Care Board I need to know how information is shared across the system, the data needs from different perspectives and what options are available to address these.

DHTs

As a provider/commissioner of mental health services I need to understand which Digital Health Technologies will benefit my service/s and service users so that I can improve the experience of services users and access to my service/s.

As a provider/commissioner of mental health services I need to understand how to embed Digital Health Technologies to maximise the benefits they can provide for service users and service providers so that I can improve the experience of services users and access to my service/s.

As a team developing national policy and guidance for mental health services I need to understand the opportunities and barriers to embedding Digital Health Technologies optimally so that we can develop appropriate support for local systems.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
This work builds on an established programme of work to support the acceleration of development of inclusive digitally enabled mental health pathways.
The team have completed discoveries into the data sharing requirements within the following areas of mental health: Improving Access to Phycological Therapies (IAPT), Children and Young Peoples Mental Health (CYPMH), Community Adult Mental Health (CAMH) with a focus on Physical Health Checks for People with Serious Mental Illness (PHSMI).
The team have also previously completed work into the use of Digital Health Technologies (DHTs) within IAPT and have conducted pieces of market analysis across mental health pathways.
Existing team
The work will be within the Digital Mental Health team and with the policy specific Mental Health teams.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remotely or within Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8UG
Working arrangements
The work will mainly be remote but may require visits to local services and to the NHS England London Office
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
  • Have demonstrable experience leading strategic, user-centred design work to understand the end-to-end lived experience of users and the professionals who deliver services work to government service standards
  • Have a understanding and demonstrable experience of a wide range of research and design methodologies for designing and delivering effective digital transformation projects which have a diverse mix of users
  • Have a proven track record and robust methodology for conducting user research with vulnerable people and handling sensitive personal information
  • Have the ability to work on concurrent discovery projects while maintaining pace, focus on user needs and flexiblity to changing requirements
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have a deep understanding and previous experience working with NHS services and the challenges faced within the health and care system
  • Have demonstrable understanding of when and how to use different types and fidelity of artefacts and prototypes to validate concepts and communicate and get buy-in from a range of stakeholders
  • Have demonstrable experience of successfully using insights from user research to make recommendations that change the approach of senior level decision makers
  • Have demonstrable experience using lean, lightweight methods to provide actionable recommendations for future work

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to working in collaboration with in-house policy teams with low UCD knowledge and local NHS organisations
  • Approach to applying the principles user centred design and service design to digital transformation in the health sector
  • Approach and methodology to the iterative delivery of concurrent discoveries in way that delivers tangible benefit to the national policy teams
  • Approach and methodology to ensure that the outputs and recommendations change the approach of senior level decision makers
  • Approach and methodology to defining success for the discovery work and evaluating how successful the work will be in impacting local systems
  • Estimated time frames, team structure, skills and experience
Cultural fit criteria
  • Have recent and demonstrable experience of working with a group of stakeholders, ideally in the healthcare sector
  • Have demonstrable experience of working collaboratively with clients of low levels expertise in UCD
  • Have demonstrable experience of working in a transparent and collaborative way and being able to challenge the status quo
  • Have demonstrable experience of sharing knowledge, experience, and ways of working with team members in the client organisation
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. Are there already local services (e.g. particular ICSs) on board as partners, or will we need to identify partners as part of the discovery?
The Digital Mental Health team holds relationships with these stakeholders, however, the team will need to identify specific partners to engage with as part of this work.
2. Are the pathways all locally delivered services, as opposed to nationally managed services?
Yes
3. Which pathways are in-scope for the Discovery? Could you list the priority pathways?
The in-scope priority pathways are: Perinatal, Dementia, Adult (Community, Acute and Crisis), Children and Young Peoples Mental Health services.
4. Are you looking at app integrations for digital services?
No
5. What is your app strategy?
The team doesn’t have one
6. Are Local Authorities and the Voluntary Sector considered ‘providers’?
Yes, when they are delivering NHS funded services.
7. Are patients/families considered ‘citizens'?
Yes
8. Does the work look at early identification of risk and prevention?
Yes
9. Are GPs in scope?
Yes
10. Are expert clinical advisors involved?
Yes
11. Are schools, the Police, and mental health in prisons in scope?
To be agreed at kick off.
12. Which location does this work focus on?
NHS funded services in England
13. Are the CORE20Plus5 criteria a part of this work?
This strategy should inform all of our work.
14. Are logical data flows the right level of detail?
To be agreed at kick off.
15. Is the current User Centric Design (UCD) approach in data sharing and digital health within mental health services at NHSE aligned or expected to be aligned with similar work across other NHS service areas for e.g. the work completed within NHS 111?
All work that is delivered by the Digital Mental Health team is intended to be aligned with the broader work streams within the Transformation Directorate and other NHSE/I teams. This is particularly important for data sharing and DHTs due to the level of interest and broader programmes of work being taken forward by colleagues elsewhere within NHSE/I.
16. Have you existing relationships with ICS’s, local providers, mental health charities etc. that could speed up participant recruitment? Or are you expecting suppliers to have some of these already?
The team hold relationships with these stakeholders. It is not expected that the supplier would have these already.
17. Please can you clarify what you mean by lean, lightweight methods? Can you clarify when you state lean, lightweight methods does this refer to research / discovery phase or delivery phase / planning?
We are seeking a supplier who has experience, as well as tools and approaches, which would allow them to undertake a rapid discovery and then quickly translate the findings from discovery into tangible outputs which could practically be applied and tested by mental health teams and local systems.
18. Will there be members of the MH Directorate team who will join or shadow the supplier team?
Yes
19. Is there an incumbent already working on the project and programme?
No
20. Is there a preference for a single supplier across both tenders?
Yes, there is a preference for a single supplier to deliver the work across data sharing and DHTs due to the need to pull together learnings across the areas of mental health.
21. Your brief states the team have already completed discoveries into the data sharing requirements and also completed work into the use of Digital Health. How is this existing team currently comprised? i.e. Size of team, internal? an external company? contractors?
The Digital Mental Health team is a team of six made up of project and programme managers. The team sits within the wider Mental Health team at NHSE/I and has links into the Transformation Directorate.
22. Is there a Clinical Champion/Lead and Expert Panel?
The team has access to clinical representatives and policy experts to inform the work.
23. Does the existing team include external supplier/s? If so, who are they?
No
24. What data mapping methods/tools do you currently use?
The team do not have specific tools for data mapping. The team currently use Mural for the majority of work.
25. Who are the key stakeholders from NHS England and Improvement?
The Digital Mental Health team, the wider Mental Health team, teams within the Transformation Directorate.
26. Will a product owner from the Digital Mental Health team be assigned to this Discovery?
Yes, though it has yet to be agreed whether this role will be allocated to one or several individuals.
27. Are there any other roles within the Digital Mental Health team and/or the policy specific Mental Health teams that are expected to be allocated to this Discovery?
To be agreed at kick off.
28. What will happen with the recommendations from discovery, for example is this work part of a wider funded programme of work?
Do you envisage benefits in using the same supplier to carry out further work following the discovery?
The intention is that the learnings will be taken into alpha and then used to develop outputs, such as system facing guidance or information standards, and will inform national digital transformation programmes.
The team would like this work to accelerate through the discovery phase as quickly as possible due to the depth of knowledge already held by the national policy team in these areas. Therefore, it is envisaged that much of the work into move into alpha within this joint work with the successful supplier.
29. Please can you confirm the specific deliverables or outcomes you are expecting from this work?
We expect the discoveries to generate tangible insights into key pain points and opportunities which can easily and meaningfully translate into transformation opportunities which could be tested in subsequent alpha phases. The intention is that the learnings will be used to develop outputs, such as system facing guidance or information standards, and will inform national digital transformation programmes. Example deliverables (to be agreed at kick off):
• High-level service map(s)
• High-level archetypal patient journey maps
• List of key pain-points/challenges
• List of key opportunities for transformation
• Case studies of good-practice examples
30. Will our work be building on previous discoveries, e.g. on Improving Access to Phycological Therapies (IAPT), or will it be looking at new pathways that have not previously had discovery?
The emphasis will be to look at areas of Mental Health that have not previously had any discovery work, however, there will likely be cross over and learnings that can be taken from previous discoveries and those areas of Mental Health that have had a greater depth of analysis of their use of digital.
31. Can the authority confirm whether pre-discovery work, discoveries and previous work completed to date have been delivered in-house or with external support?
The team has had external support from partner organisations, such as the Transformation Directorate, and external suppliers.
32. Can you share the links to outputs of the discovery work around digital health technologies?
This has not yet been published externally.
33. Can you share the details of current work mapping data sharing?
The team has data maps and high level use cases for Community AMH, CYPMH, IAPT and PHSMI. To date we have not completed data mapping work across the key focus areas outlined in this tender.
34. Do you have a sense of how many concurrent discoveries will be both useful and feasible? Or would it be preferable for bidders to propose methodologies that establish that?
The team are open to tools and methodologies to support prioritisation in the areas for investigation, however, due to the limited timescales of this work the discoveries will have to be completed concurrently. We have planned for up to four discoveries to take place concurrently.
35. Could you please clarify what is meant by ‘concurrent discovery projects’? Is your expectation/requirement to run a discovery per MH care pathway (under this procurement and budget) to ensure each pathway is well explored and factored into the final findings and recommendations? If so, how may care pathways have you prioritised?
The team expect to run up to four accelerated discovery projects concurrently within different Mental Health pathways, eg, a discovery into the data sharing needs in Adult Crisis pathways and an accelerated discovery into alpha into the use of DHTs in Perinatal pathways. The team anticipate that there will be similar learnings across the care pathways and focus areas that will need to be drawn together across the discovery projects. The intention is to build on existing knowledge held within the Mental Health team that will allow the team to move more swiftly into alphas.
36. The tender says that the Digital Mental Health team have “completed discoveries into the data sharing requirements” within various areas of mental health. Could you provide links to any public outputs of this work?
These outputs are not yet public.
37. Could you please elaborate more on what work has been done so far? What materials have been produced?
Data sharing: The team has data maps and high level use cases and sub-use cases for Community AMH, CYPMH, IAPT and PHSMI.
DHTs: The team have done market analysis work across all pathways to different levels of granularity.
38. What is the focus and scale of the work done to date in relation to “the use of digital health technologies within IAPT including market analysis of mental health pathways”?
The team have previously done work across all Mental Health pathways to gather intelligence about what DHTs were being used in each pathway.
39. Does the budget include or exclude VAT?
Include
40. Is there a capped day rate?
No
41. What is the earliest possible start date?
28/11/2022
42. Could you please provide an indicative timeline for the complete procurement process?
Approximate timings are as follows:
DOS opportunity closes 14th Oct
Team assess bids w.c 17th Oct
Invite 3 suppliers to interview by 21st Oct
Interviews to be run w.c 31st Oct
Provisional award w.c 7th Nov
NHSE/I commercial to ratify the decision
Contract award expected w.c 21st or 28th Nov
43. Acknowledging the 4 month project budget, would there be scope to for extending delivery time into the next financial year, if needed.
To be discussed at mutually agreed checkpoints within the project.
44. In experience skill #2 can you provide a bit more detail on what ‘a diverse mix of users’ means in the context of this project? Are there particular user groups or attributes that you need to focus on?
The team’s work to understand the challenges and opportunities within Mental Health care pathways will involve engagement with a wide range of mental health service users, as well as families and carers where appropriate, to ensure that the work outputs are inclusive and include the perspectives of those at high risk of exclusion.
45. The brief doesn’t explicitly refer to MH service users in the ‘Who the users are’ section, but then refers to ‘conducting user research with vulnerable people’ in skill/experience #3, which implies MH service users. Can you please clarify if you require the supplier to engage or not with representatives of this group in the discoveries?
Yes, it is expected that the work will involve engaging with service users of mental health services.
46. Do you expect the discoveries to engage with front-line MH service clinicians and staff representatives?
Yes
47. In experience skill #1, when you say ‘end-to-end lived experience of users and the professionals who deliver services work to government service standards’, do you mean people who A) access services provided to them (i.e MH patients and their families in this context), and B) people that deliver a service (i.e. MH clinical service providers in this context)? If not, please clarify who the users and professionals are in your context.
Yes
48. Who are the vulnerable people that need to be interviewed and who are we expected to be working with?
The team’s work to understand the challenges and opportunities within Mental Health care pathways will involve engagement with a wide range of mental health service users, as well as families and carers where appropriate, to ensure that the work outputs are inclusive and include the perspectives of those at high risk of exclusion.
49. Will there be a targeted focus on specific population subsets or themes in order to prioritise the most vulnerable individuals, via a lens of combating health inequalities?
To be agreed at kick off.
50. Could you clarify Q1: “Have demonstrable experience leading strategic, user-centred design work to understand the end-to-end lived experience of users and the professionals who deliver services work to government service standards"
To clarify: Have demonstrable experience leading strategic, user-centred design work to understand the end-to-end lived experience of users and the professionals who deliver services (preferably NHS services). This design work should have been completed to GDS (and NHS if applicable) service standards.
51. In skill #1 are you referring to the NHS and / or Digital Service Standard when you refer to ‘government service standards’?
GDS and NHS Service Standards
52. Request you to elaborate on Question 6: Have demonstrable understanding of when and how to use different types and fidelity of artefacts and prototypes to validate concepts and communicate and get buy-in from a range of stakeholders. Mainly fidelity of artefacts and prototypes.
We want to undertake these discoveries quickly and ensure the insights and outputs from this work can easily translate into transformation opportunities which could be tested in subsequent alpha phases. To do this effectively, the supplier will need to have methods of prototyping and testing high-level concepts and ideas with different users quickly and iterating these to ensure they will help address the key pain points.
53. In the first question does government service standards relate to how we undertake our work or how professionals are delivering services?
It is referencing how suppliers who apply for this work should be working to GDS and NHS service standards.
54. As you have weighted 60% of the score on tech, we would like to understand if there is any specific tech that you are looking for any preferences to the technologies used on this project?
This weighting refers to technical ability of the supplier to deliver against the brief, not the technologies we expect a supplier to be using while working on the project.
55. What ethical approval processes and timescales are likely to be necessary before a successful bidder would be able to recruit user research participants, particularly citizens/service users?
Unknown at this stage.
56. Regarding Essential criterion 5 – could you please confirm whether this refers to concurrent Discoveries for the same client or multiple Discoveries for multiple clients? Or does it refer to both?
Same client.
57. Could you please confirm how this Outcomes opportunity relates to the Specialists request for a Service Designer? e.g. will the Service Designer work with this team? or How will the two opportunities work in tandem?
The two opportunities are connected. The service designer will be expected to work across this as well as a number of other streams of work within the Digital Mental Health team to ensure alignment and draw together learnings across similar themes.
58. Can you clarify what type of sensitive personal information is referred to and whether this should address data restrictions of a specific jurisdiction?
Due the nature of working in Mental Health, all the user research the team undertakes will contain sensitive personal information.
59. We recognise that you have requested capped time and materials for pricing. Would you also be willing to accept fixed price bids?
The preference is for capped time and materials bids as the detail of some deliverables may need to change throughout the project to ensure it meets the needs of stakeholders, particularly our mental health policy colleagues.
60. In the contract notice, it states that the tenders will be scored:
Proposal criteria – 60%
Cultural fit criteria – 20%
Pricing 20%
There are a series of bullet points for the proposal criteria and cultural fit criteria. Those bullets don’t correspond with the actual questions on the portal. Please could you provide clarity as to how you intend to score the questions that we need to respond to and the weightings for each?
Each bullet point within each section will be weighted equally, eg. Each cultural fit criteria will contribute 25% towards the total cultural fit score, which will then be weighted to contribute 20% towards the overall score.
61. Are there any specific hypotheses from the previous discoveries that you want to validate?
To be discussed and agreed at kick off.
62. You mention that the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company.
How do you anticipate that this will be affected by the expected changes to IR35 rules?
As any changes to the IR35 rules will come into force from the start of April 2023 there will be no impact to this procurement.