Awarded to Mindwave Ventures

Start date: Thursday 1 November 2018
Value: £149,100
Company size: SME
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical Research Front-End Query Builder - Technology Refresh

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 25 June 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 2 July 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 9 July 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To re-develop and deploy a bespoke web-based query builder that is used to access complex clinical data for research, including large amounts of unstructured free text. The development is the final stage of a technology refresh programme, replacing legacy products that are no longer supported.
Latest start date
Saturday 1 September 2018
Expected contract length
20-30 weeks build and deploy + ongoing supoort
Organisation the work is for
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Budget range
£100k - £150k

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are looking to engage a technical partner to develop, deploy and (potentially) provide on-going support for a bespoke web-based query builder that will sit on top of an existing SQL Server database.

This development is the final phase of a wider technology refresh programme. The query builder, already known as CRIS (the Case Register Interactive Search), will replace an existing and well-established product that has been successfully in use for c.10 years but is sitting over a data repository that is no longer supported (Microsoft FAST).
Problem to be solved
CRIS is used to access clinical data for research purposes. The new CRIS will provide query access to de-identified clinical data from local electronic health records stored in an existing SQL Server database. The principle source database currently consists of c.150 separate tables, each containing patient level data from the records of c.350000 patients with a size of c.150 GB. On the existing CRIS c.25000 queries have been carried out by c.150 distinct users over the last 12 months.

The query builder and its source SQL Server data base are likely to be deployed in the Azure cloud.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users will be academic researchers and local NHS Trust staff. In essence the query builder will enable users to:
- define specific cohorts of patients based on criteria/filters from or more columns from any table(s) across the DB, including structured fields (e.g. date, int) and unstructured text fields (e.g. text, varchar (max)),
- to return specific fields (columns) for the cohort identified from any table across the whole database, including those used to define the cohort,
- To render results in a user-friendly (‘readable’) format, including unstructured text with string highlighting.
- To export results, e.g. in csv format.
Early market engagement
An initial technology review has already been undertaken and recommended a deployment in Azure on Micosoft SQL Server.
Any work that’s already been done
Different data repositories were considered and tested, including open source RDBS and dedicated search platforms. The recommendation was made through consideration of the starting point for the project plus minimum performance requirements, including free text search.
Existing team
The Supplier will be working with Team members from Trust Communications and supported by Information Technology.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, The Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London SE5 8AZ.
Working arrangements
We would like the supplier working at a location near the Maudsley Campus, Denmark Hill, Camberwell SE5, to enable interaction with key users/stakeholders and user groups.
Security clearance
A separate Data Sharing Agreement will be required between SLaM and Supplier.

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
  • Experience of successfully concluding projects in this area.
  • Experience in the deployment of solutions in this area.
  • Experience of Microsoft Azure.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of NHS and healthcare
  • An understanding of the requirements provided in this document
  • Clarity over how you would typically undertake a project of this nature.
  • Expected costs for a project of this nature and the basis upon which you make a commercial offer.
  • Any innovation, including innovative ways this project can be achieved.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Quality & Technical Requirements (60%)
  • Cultural fit (15%)
  • Value for money (25%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Work as a team in a collaborative manner with the Trust and any other suppliers
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the architecture limited to sql server, or can we recommend additional infrastructure? Are you able to provide full requirements? And any previous discovery reports undertaken?

Does the database exist already and have there been any previous attempts at building a front end to draw information?
A technology review, considering the starting point (existing sql server repository) + QPS and + performance requirements has recommended SQL Server. However, alternatives will be considered if the case is strong.
More detailed functional requirements can see seen via an on-line demo at

A technology review has already been undertaken and recommended SQL Server.
The SQL Server database already exists.
The development will replace an existing product that has reached the end of its life (see demo).
2. Is your processing pipeline now already exporting to an Azure MSSQL database instance or is that integration within the scope of this piece of work? If it is not already integrated, then are then any implications of pushing de-identified data into Azure cloud (e.g. network/security architecture constraints) that we need to know about to ensure there is no impact to your Caldicott accreditation?
There is already a copy of the relevant MS SQL server database in Azure
3. Who will own the IP arising? Can we confirm that background IP brought in by the supplier will remain with the supplier and what terms will be expected?
We're not entirely sure what is meant by ‘background IP’, but the IP of new development will be with the SLAM NHS Trust.