Awarded to Aire Logic Limited

Start date: Thursday 11 January 2018
Value: £40,800
Company size: SME
Public Health England

PHE Electronic Patient Questionnaire – Alpha Phase

13 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 2 large

11 Completed applications

9 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 8 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 15 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 22 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
An opportunity to enhance the current system for patients completing a post discharge questionnaire (PDQ) to provide an electronic version which will support the Surgical Site Infection Surveillance Service (SSISS) through the Alpha phase in accordance with the Government Service Design Manual.
Latest start date
Sunday 1 October 2017
Expected contract length
3-4 months
Organisation the work is for
Public Health England
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
PHE are looking to move away from a manual intensive paper-based system of PDQ’s to a solution that drives up patient responses by making it a more convenient process. The majority of infections occur post-discharge and are treated in the community, surveillance with high follow-up rates is essential for a complete picture of a hospital’s SSI incidence and increase the sensitivity for detecting hospitals with high SSI incidence.

The solution should reduce the manual effort, provide patients with the choice of PDQ, option for automated follow-ups and be interoperable within the SSISS web-application and reduce costs.
Problem to be solved
PDQs are currently paper-based and manually distributed which has considerable administrative and financial resource implications for hospitals, including chasing-up non-responders. Once responses are received they are manually entered into the SSISS web-application.

Due to the manual process uptake of post-discharge surveillance by hospitals is currently low and combined with a failure to obtain completed PDQ’s from patients this results in inadequate follow-up.

Given the manual nature of the process there is a wide variety of methods used to obtain PDQ’s and a lack of consistency across hospitals e.g. some hospitals do not chase patients for responses.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are:
Patients who need a more convenient way to complete a wound healing PDQ (currently paper based and postal) to inform hospitals if I suffered an infection post operation.

Surveillance nurses who need a simpler system to process PDQs, submit data to PHE and better track patient responses via an interface.

SSISS Team need a simplified PDQ system leading to increases in completion rates and view a PDQ interface to track patient responses and hospital participation.
Early market engagement
Some market engagement discussions have taken place.
Any work that’s already been done
A discovery phase has been completed which involved user engagement across all end user groups and interested stakeholders.

The following deliverables were produced: -
Process maps describing the current and to-be processes, user experiences, including positive highlights and negative pain-points, high level volumetrics for the future solution, key findings and recommendations.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with a core project management team. The supplier will be liaising primarily with the project lead Catherine Wloch.

Access to Subject Matter Experts from across the agency will be offered at relevant periods of the programme.

The programme is overseen by
1 Senior Responsible Owner -Theresa Lamagni
Project lead – Catherine Wloch
Operations manager – Joanna Conneely
Software development -Victoria Adebisi
Project Manager – Thuy Vuong.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The SSISS Team are currently based in PHE , Colindale, London NW9 5EQ.
Working arrangements
Ideally PHE staff will work remotely from the suppliers, with face to face meetings where necessary. It is expected that the right tools will be used to allow close collaboration.
Security clearance
Not required, DBS checks may be required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Experienced in delivering a patient questionnaire or similar systems that collect, and manage identifiable patient data (15)
  • Experience in designing systems for use on multiple devices (PC, tablets, smart phones) and web browsers (15)
  • Experience in designing solutions for assisted digital users (15)
  • Expose interoperable API’s for communication with ASP.NET MVC application (10)
  • Experienced in designing systems that can support secure data exchange/ link records between systems and provide email security (10)
  • Experienced in advising on IT infrastructure e.g. back-end database and the levels of support required for hosting the solution on PHE servers (10)
  • Experienced in designing systems that automatically generate notifications based on pre-determined rules (10)
  • Experience in designing detailed technical requirements to facilitate the evaluation of Beta phase suppliers (10)
  • Must have completed the design of similar sized alpha phases (5)
  • Experience of developing wireframes/mock-ups of dashboards and dashboard design (10)
  • Suppliers shall provide evidence that they comply with the UK Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework or equivalent for data confidentiality, integrity and availability. This is based on ISO 27001 (10)
  • Suppliers will be required to provide a minimum of 2 relevant case studies to demonstrate that they are experienced and capacity of providing similar-sized or equivalent services (10)
  • Experience of working with customer subject matter experts (10)
  • NHS IG toolkit compliant at least level 2 and access to N3 network (10)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of deploying an IT system, with users based in all geographic areas (10)
  • Experience in agile adoptions and embedding agile into organisations (10)
  • Experience of handing over intellectual property (10)
  • Experience of remote working (10)
  • Experience of working with customer side Project Managers (10)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • The proposed technical solution (50)
  • The proposed approach and methodology (50)
  • How the approach or solution meets our business and operational requirements (50)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (50)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (50)
  • How proposer has identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (50)
  • Team structure and organisational development (50)
  • Innovation and flexibility (of the solution) (50)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (20)
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions (20)
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes (20)
  • Application of Agile Principles (20)
  • Ability to add value (20)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. The essential requirements include experience of similar sized alpha phases and similar-sized services. Could you provide more information about the size of the alpha phase and the projected service? For example the high-level volumetrics from the discovery phase and the estimated timescales for the alpha phase?
The Alpha phase is expected to take approximately 8 weeks. During this time the work will include comparing potential solutions for the questionnaire in terms of technical feasibility and cost. The work will also include developing mock-ups and wire frames of the hospital dashboard and PHE administrators dashboard and seeking user input on the designs. Solutions for batch upload of patient contact details also needs to be considered.
The projected service is expected to have the capacity to deliver >100 000 questionnaires a year.
2. Will you help with recruit of test participants ?
Yes we will help with recruitment of test participants for user research but we would also be interested to hear about any user panels suppliers may have.
3. Could we run a pilot study with ########## Hospital? Or a local NHS trust?
User research/testing (with patients and hospital staff) of acceptability of question layout, methods of communication and initial dashboard design will be part of the alpha phase. Specific hospitals have not been decided at this stage. We will help with recruitment of hospitals. However, a pilot incorporating the final design of the digital questionnaire into the surveillance process will be during the Beta phase.
4. What happens with the data once it is collected? Does it need to be visualised / analysed?
Collected data will be fed into the existing PHE SSI web application. Yes it will need to be visualised/analysed. Hospitals and the PHE SSI team will have dashboard presentation to enter patient contact details, track progress of questionnaires (e.g. proportion completed) and review patient answers for example.
5. Are you able to provide a budget range?
Up to a maximum of £50,000
6. Can you share the results of the discovery phase of this project as referred to within the published documentation?
We expect to share the discovery documentation with short-listed suppliers
7. Can we see examples of the current paper based forms being used that are to replicated?
We expect to share this with short-listed suppliers. A copy of the PDQ is available at the end of the SSI Protocol that is available through the SSI page on
8. Can we learn the results of the market engagement discussions ahead of the application date?
We expect to share the discovery documentation with short-listed suppliers
9. Can we see the process maps, keys findings, recommendations etc that have already been produced?
We expect to share the discovery documentation with short-listed suppliers
10. In connection with the essential skills and experience requirement “Experience in designing detailed technical requirements to facilitate the evaluation of Beta phase suppliers (10)” can PHE please confirm that the successful bidder for the Alpha stage will not be excluded from the Beta procurement?
Decisions about the Beta phase have not been finalised
11. There is an essential skill and experience requirement that states “Suppliers will be required to provide a minimum of 2 relevant case studies to demonstrate that they are experienced and capacity of providing similar-sized or equivalent services”. Can PHE please clarify when in the process suppliers are required to provide these case studies, for example, as part of the DOS application, or at a later stage of the procurement?
Suppliers are asked to provide relevant case studies at the DOS application stage
12. In relation to the nice-to-have skills and experience requirement “Experience of deploying an IT system, with users based in all geographic areas (10)” can PHE please confirm whether you are referring to all geographic areas in England, in the UK or globally?
The patient users of the digital questionnaire and hospital users will mainly be based across England with potential to expand to other countries.
13. We have started our application for IGSoC but are not able to proceed further until we have a need to use an NHS Digital service in live. So far all of our work has been hosted by customers and thus covered by their IGSoC and N3 connection. Will this be an acceptable position?
The data will be hosted by PHE and guided by internal PHE security policies and Caldicott principles.
14. Given the intention to have the data hosted by PHE, we assume the majority of the responsibilities outlined in the UK Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework will be fulfilled by PHE themselves. If required to host the data, we would propose to use an ISO27001 compliant data centre. Will this be an acceptable position?
The data will be hosted by PHE and guided by internal PHE security policies and Caldicott principles.