Awarded to Lagom Strategy Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 2 January 2018
Value: £37,600
Company size: SME
Skills for care

National Minimum Dataset for Social Care Discovery

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

11 Completed applications

9 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Wednesday 1 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 8 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 15 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Department of Health are commissioning a Discovery Report to inform the build of a new version of the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care. The report will identify user personas, uses cases, features and designs. The report will also consider any overlap and minimising burden with the CQC PIC.
Latest start date
Monday 11 December 2017
Expected contract length
6 - 8 weeks
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Skills for care
Budget range
"It is anticipated, given this discovery will pull from the previous PIR and NMDS-SC Discovery exercises, that this discovery will focus more on User research and User requirements. As such, the budget is between £40 to £50k

About the work

Why the work is being done
"(1) Understand and validate triggers, motivators, context, behaviour and needs for NMDS-SC service users (2) Define NMDS-SC priority user roles and develop a backlog of user stories (3) Generate recommendations and design principles (4) Identify key reporting NMDS-SC outputs (5) Understand levels of assisted digital need (especially data inputters) ; (6) Define the profile of the service delivery team ; (7) Identify how to minimise burden on providers submitting data to the NMDS-SC system and the CQC PIC system (8) Identify the scale of overlap between the two collections (9) Allow a decision if and how to proceed to Alpha
Problem to be solved
The current NMDS-SC system is no longer fit for purpose. DH are commissioning a replacement system. The existing NMDS-SC data will need to be seamlessly migrated into the new system. This discovery will also look at where the NMDS-SC system and the CQC PIC system overlap and need to connect and how best to achieve this. The new NMDS-SC system needs to make inputting data as easy as possible while also providing outputs that are valued by its users. Given these aims, further understanding use cases and users is paramount. The discovery report must be submitted by Feb 22nd 2018.
Who the users are and what they need to do
"Users of the NMDS-SC system are providers of adult social care (ASC) in England – this includes those regulated by CQC as well as other care services that are not CQC regulated (including organisers of social care such as local authorities). ASC providers range from very small independent providers to large scale national providers. Within these ASC providers there are different user types e.g. those who need to collate and input information and those who need to use the management information that the system generates. This includes the Department of Health and the Skills for Care users and user requirements.
Early market engagement
Market engagement is longstanding in this area. The NMDS-SC online system has been collecting data since November 2007 and contains information from over 20,000 care providers and on over 700,000 individual workers. Engaging with users has formed part of the daily work of Skills for Care for over ten years. Skills for Care therefore has a lot of subject knowledge with regard to engaging with the market – both in terms of organisations inputting into the system and those using the intelligence derived from the system. In terms of engagement statistics – 100% of local authorities use the system while 55% (circa 14,000 establishments) of all CQC regulated adult social care providers use the system. Skills for Care will provide contacts for user research.
Any work that’s already been done
Between November 2016 and February 2017 - a discovery report commissioned by DH was carried out. The discovery established that the existing system is no longer fit for purpose and advised the replacement of the system. While its focus was on what could be improved about the current NMDS-SC system, it also made recommendations for what a new version of the NMDS-SC system might look like. The process generated user personas and use cases that should inform this new discovery work CQC also carried out discovery work for their PIC collection that can be drawn on.
Existing team
The existing team comprises of service managers, subject matter experts, designated digital product owners, product and project managers. There is limited digital capacity within the team although a high level of digital subject matter expertise. There is also experienced digital project management expertise with experience of working with digital partners and solution providers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
LEEDS : Skills for Care: West Gate, 6 Grace Street, Leeds LS1 2RP
Working arrangements
The supplier may be based anywhere but would be expected to be located and available in Leeds to work with subject matter experts and product owners. The supplier will need to undertake user research and understand user needs at other locations in the country. We are accustomed to regularly working across DH sites, but are based in Leeds. We have technology available to facilitate this. The supplier will be expected to work as 'one team' with the team and work in an agile manner. We will ensure that travel uses people's time effectively and are as productive as possible.
Security clearance
Individuals /Teams must fullfill satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Checks (DBS)

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
  • •Proven experience conducting and documenting user research and user requirements and iterating project work accordingly
  • Proven experience conducting Discovery activities where there are multiple organisations and stakeholders involved within the Doscovery, User Research and User requirements gathering
  • Proven experience delivering projects using the agile project management methodology
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital services/products to the Government Digital Service standards
  • A track record of successfully managing and assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations
  • Proven ability to support a flexible way of working, making late changes to plans and where appropriate travel to user sites (incl. London) to undertake discovery activities.
  • Have availability of resources to be able to start as soon as possible
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Previous successful experience delivering digital services within Government
  • Previous successful experience of delivering digital services/products to the Government Digital Service standards
  • Previous successful experience of undertaking Discovery exercises within an Adult Social Care context
  • Previous successful experience of conducting user research and testing and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical knowledge, experience and understanding the Discovery process
  • Approach and methodology (Incl. GDS Standards)
  • How the process and end deliverables will meet the user needs.
  • Timeframe estimation
  • Team structure
  • Value for Money and Pricing
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience working with public sector and arms length bodies.
  • Work transparently, collaboratively and as an extension to our team throughout the Discovery.
  • Work flexibly and have the ability to adapt to specific cultures.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Why re-do a Discovery project? Why not move straight onto an Alpha (as the original Discovery recommends) and deal with any research gaps in an Alpha?
There is sufficient difference between the scope of the two projects which will be very clear to the successful supplier.
2. Please could you describe the scope difference between the original discovery carried out last year and this discovery you are procuring for here? What did the last discovery focus on and what are you wanting this discovery to focus on?
The previous discovery looked at the wider workforce intelligence work of Skills for Care and focused on the NMDS-SC system as it is now – it concluded the current system was no longer fit for purpose. Following a GDS approach this discovery needs to advise on building a new version of the NMDS-SC while considering linkages with the CQC PIC work.
3. Does bidding for the discovery phase preclude a supplier from bidding for subsequent Alpha and Beta phases?
4. Can you please share all findings from the discovery exercise that CQC carried out for the PIC collection?
These discovery reports will be shared with the successful supplier at the project initiation meeting.
5. Can you please share all findings from the discovery exercise that DH carried out Nov 16-Feb 17?
See above
6. Can you advise how many people you require to support this requirement? How much time during the 6-8 week period do you expect people to be based in Leeds? What, if any, research has already been undertaken?
The successful supplier would be expected to spend time in Leeds working closely with Skills for Care subject matter experts and we will provide office space for them. The amount of time spent in Leeds is open to discussion – it needs to be enough to perform the work to the highest standard. In terms of numbers of people required to deliver in the timescale and budget – we would expect to be advised by the supplier.
7. You mentioned that you want a "report that will identify user personals, uses cases, features and designs". But it sounds like the 2 discoveries already done covers these things. Where are the gaps which the 2 previous discoveries didn't cover?
There has been one discovery relating to the NMDS-SC, the other discovery activity focused on the build of the CQC system. The previous NMDS-SC discovery report was quite wide-ranging and in some ways was looking at ways of improving the old system rather than being purely focused on the build of a fresh system. It will act as a good start point and will highlight areas to look at – however the successful company should also use a fresh set of eyes following best GDS practice around user needs and personas.