Awarded to Sopra Steria Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 3 July 2018
Value: £99,374
Company size: large
Skills for Care in partnership with the Dept. for Health & Social Care

National Minimum Dataset for Social Care - Alpha

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

2 Completed applications

1 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 23 April 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 30 April 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 7 May 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DHSC, with its Delivery Partner Skills for Care are commissioning resources for an Alpha phase to become part of its Agile multi-disciplined delivery team. The resource requirements will include software development and testing and could include elements of content design and user experience/interface designs.
Latest start date
Friday 1 June 2018
Expected contract length
The Alpha should take 12 weeks with further time designated to support the transition to beta.
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Skills for Care in partnership with the Dept. for Health & Social Care
Budget range
The budget is fixed and will not exceed £100k.

About the work

Why the work is being done
DHSC was recently the subject of an NAO review (and subsequent Public Accounts Committee Hearing) into how they manage their responsibilities with respect to the adult social care workforce. The report made a number of recommendations particularly around implications of exit from the EU on the workforce, vacancy, turnover and accessing supply and demand data which, without NMDS-SC, DHSC will not have the level of data intelligence to implement.
The current NMDS-SC will be retired before April 19' and therefore a new service and replacement system/solution must be implemented no later than March 19'
Problem to be solved
The current NMDS-SC system is no longer fit for purpose. DHSC are commissioning a replacement system, which must be implemented for April 19'. This Alpha stage will build on the findings from Discovery and look at where the NMDS-SC service and system can be improved by prototyping new and more appropriate service delivery methods and solutions. The prototypes will be developed and tested as part of on-going user research that will eventually inform, subject to feasibility and business case the Beta phase development.
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 Social Care own 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 with over 700,000 individual worker records. 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 DHSC 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. A subsequent Discovery (March 18') built on the previous Discovery and identified the scope and requirement of a new service including the production of sample prototypes in order to test the scope and requirement.
Existing team
The existing team comprises of a service manager, subject matter experts, designated digital product owners, product and delivery 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 contractors, digital partners and solution providers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Skills for Care: West Gate, 6 Grace Street, LEEDS, LS1 2RP
Working arrangements
The supplier may be based anywhere but would be expected to co-locate resources in the Leeds office to work with the NMDS-SC multi-disciplined Agile team of digital and subject matter experts. The resources would form part of the multidiscipline team and be part of the service delivery team. The resources would be co-located amongst the team and work collaboratively with experts. They would be included within rituals and attend Show & Tell, Daily Stand-ups and operate within scrum teams.
Security clearance

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
  • Expert, proven full-stack development skill set, using PHP.
  • Proven knowledge of design data models and working at the database level with MySQL or Postgres.
  • Proven knowledge of core programming concepts such as MVC (Model View Controller) and Object Oriented design. Experience working with frameworks based on these concepts, such as Laravel.
  • Proven ability to define and create testing strategies and automate the testing of code.
  • Experience creating bespoke web applications and authenticated APIs
  • Significant Javascript knowledge.
  • Experience working with GDS frontend toolkit, or industry equivalents such as Bootstrap or Foundation, to develop responsive websites
  • Experience working with GDS standard technologies including GOV.UK Cloud Platform as a Service, mail services and authentication; or industry equivalents.
  • Proven experience delivering projects using the agile project management methodology.
  • Experience working to GDS Technology Code of Practice best practices; or industry equivalent best practices and open source coding standards.
  • Experience of using Git, preferably with GitHub
  • Proven knowledge and experience of developing services with effective User Experience designs
  • Proven knowledge and ability to define and implement user centric content and content structure
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working in a Government Digital Alpha or Beta phase project.
  • Ability to deliver digital services & products in line with the Government Digital Service Standards.
  • Experience working in user-centered software development process.
  • Knowledge or experience of Drupal.
  • Knowledge and experience of developing services within an adult social care context and setting.
  • Knowledge and experience of wider health and social care data led projects

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical knowledge and experience together with understanding the requirements
  • Approach and methodology (Incl. Agile PM, Kanban, GDS Standards)
  • How the process and end deliverables will meet the user needs.
  • Timeframe estimation
  • Team structure (including operating within an existing multi-disciplined team)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience working with public sector and arms length bodies.
  • Work transparently, collaboratively and as an extension to our team throughout the Alpha.
  • Work flexibly and have the ability to adapt to specific cultures.
  • Co-locate as part of a multi-disciplined team
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would it be acceptable to have a team that works part remote and part on-site?
We expect that suppliers will co-locate resources in the Leeds office and for them to become part of the NMDS-SC multi-disciplined team on-site.
2. Is travel and accommodation part of the budget?
The budget is capped on a time and materials basis?
3. Can you please confirm if you would consider a non-PHP based tech stack for Alpha?
No. We are planning to test PHP as part of our Alpha scope to determine the most appropriate technical stack and approach for Beta.
4. Can you let us know who carried out the Discovery piece please?
Lagom Strategy Ltd. The award is detailed on Digital Marketplace.