Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

Medical Examiner programme - Alpha & Beta

Incomplete applications

9
Incomplete applications
6 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

28
Completed applications
21 SME, 7 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 2 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 9 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 16 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work DHSC requires a supplier to deliver the Alpha and Beta stages of the project to digitise the Medical Examiners Office function, of reporting and recording the reasons for a death.
Latest start date Wednesday 19 September 2018
Expected contract length The anticipated contract length is 6 - 7 months for delivery of both the Alpha and Beta stages.
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
Budget range The budget for the Alpha stage is up to £156k

The budget for the Beta stage is up to £1.087m

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done When a death occurs, the reasons are recorded by a qualified medical practioner, usually a doctor. The process of death certification is being reformed to address a lack of adequate safeguards and independent scrutiny. A programme has been established to support the reform of death certification and introduction of Medical Examiners (ME's), in England and Wales.

Currently ME's rely on medical practitioners notifying by phone, email or verbally that a death has occurred. The ME must collate the relevant files and if necessary, engage with the doctor: currently a paper and MS Access-based process to be completed within 5 days.
Problem to be solved Currently, it is not possible to deliver the ME office function of reporting deaths, via a digital platform.
We require development of a digital service to underpin and sustain the medical examiner system and replace the current paper-based process.
The Discovery phase revealed that to meet the needs of NHS-based service users, the introduction of medical examiners and all accompanying processes must be fit for purpose digitally. The processes of a medical examiner’s office, notably, the scrutiny of reasons given as the cause of death, require completion within a strict timeframe, avoiding delays to the registration of a death.
Who the users are and what they need to do Medical Examiners and Medical Examiner officers: To receive notifications, to capture an interaction as a coded transaction with a unique reference and, also, to store and transfer information.
Notification and information will be communicated with the registrars and coroners.
NB: this service will be used within the NHS by trained staff and will not have any public facing functions, however, a medical examiner system needs to be able to record any concerns that may be raised by the bereaved.
Early market engagement Research was undertaken during Discovery, findings concluded that Medical Examiner offices are notified of a death in varied ways and most records are currently paper-based, whilst some high-level user needs were also identified. Details can also be found in the Discovery report and Alpha scoping document within the below linked Google drive:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/140EjxTVIho07hL_Q6CERRjrw-oBnJn?usp=sharing

Work to date has identified the need for a service that can digitally receive notifications, transfer information to different digital systems in use by other government departments (interoperable), produce forms, and store data that be easily interrogated. There is a requirement for an on-line service that can be accessed via different platforms (i.e. accessible on both PC and tablets) due to the time sensitive nature of the medical eExaminer process.
Any work that’s already been done A successful discovery was completed and the report is available here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/140E-_jxTVIho07hL_Q6CERRjrw-oBnJn?usp=sharing

An Alpha stage scoping document has also been developed and is available in the Google Drive above.

Companies who pass the shortlisting process will be asked to submit written proposals for the requirement. In addition, all companies who submit a bid will be asked to attend a supplier presentation session, to be held in London on either 7th, 10th or 11th of September 2018. The sessions will be for an hour each. Further details will be provided closer to the date.
Existing team A full-time member of the DHSC Medical Examiner Programme Team will project manage the DHSC contribution and look to collocate at times, we would, however, require the service provider to provide a multi-disciplinary team.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Leeds, Gloucestershire, Sheffield and remote locations.
Working arrangements The DHSC team is located in Leeds with the DHSC funded Medical Examiner pilot sites at Gloucestershire and Sheffield, and so, will make use of VC technology and will arrange in-person meetings at key points.
Some events or additional meetings with users may be needed around the country. Expenses will be paid in accordance with DH rates.

The supplier will need to be able to start work no later than 19 September 2018 and is required to attend a policy network event on 20 September at the Royal College of Physicians venue in London (Regent’s Park, NW1 4LE)
Security clearance Baseline.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions - DHSC will require a signed non-disclosure agreement
- DHSC reserves the right to undertake a service review after Alpha and intermediate Beta phases
- A GDS / DHSC digital assessment will be undertaken after completion of the Alpha stage; a successful outcome will be required to commence the Beta stage of the work. Additionally, NHS England is a key stakeholder, who will retain the right to undertake their own review of the Alpha outcomes, prior to the approval being granted to commence the Beta stage

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to...
  • Deliver digital services that meet the GDS Digital Service Standard criteria and pass GDS service assessments and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service (not public facing)
  • Develop prototypes into functional beta systems iteratively via user testing/research and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service
  • Develop digital services using agile methodologies and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service
  • Prioritise key content and features using metrics, analytics, and user feedback and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service
  • Prioritise product and programme delivery using effective estimation and sizing techniques and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service
  • Design and build services which meet user needs, follow GDS design patterns, meet accessibility standards and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this service
  • Demonstrable experience of leading public sector teams, particularly those with no experience of Agile
  • Demonstrable experience of carrying out user research with a diverse mix of users and stakeholders
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage with stakeholders and harness learning
  • Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and services into efficient modern solutions
  • Proven service design and development and technical expertise in delivering a digital service
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of successful delivery of digital services from Discovery to Live
  • • Have experience upskilling client staff e.g. the internal Product Manager

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
  • How risks and dependencies are identified and approaches to manage them
  • Approach to maintaining control, transparency and quality
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Demonstrate the approach for working with a wide range of service users
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Please can you advise who conducted Discovery? Was this completed internally or by a third party? The Discovery stage was completed internally by the DHSC Digital team.
2. Please can you confirm if there is an incumbent in place? There is no incumbent in place.
3. Is the Discovery supplier allowed to bid for the Alpha & Beta phases? Not applicable, the Discovery phase was completed internally, this method of delivery is not available for the Alpha and Beta stages of the requirement.
4. When applying for this opportunity, suppliers will be asked "Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to..." as a question that they need to answer. Is it acceptable to enter "N/A" as a response to this question? Correct, no response is required here. Please enter N/A or another similar statement.
5. Could we ask you to expand on the first item in the Essential Skills section: Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to... No response is required here, this is a comment to aid the presentation of your responses to the subsequent questions. Please enter N/A or another similar statement.
6. Your question states “how you will apply your skills and expertise to” however the guidance when we press apply states “When you write your evidence, you should be specific about what the situation was, the work the team did & what the results were. You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement”. Can you confirm whether you are looking for a single previous example or comments we as to how we will do this for you within the 100 words”. The answers to “how you will apply your skills and expertise to” can be supported with examples of previous work.
7. What would you like us to put in the response box against “Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to...” No response is required here, this is a comment to aid the presentation of your responses to the subsequent questions. Please enter N/A or another similar statement.
8. Did you have any external support with the discovery exercise. If yes who provided this support? No, the Discovery phase was delivered internally.
9. Did GDS or a third party supplier undertake the Discovery Phase? If the later, could you please share the name of the supplier? The Discovery phase was delivered internally.
10. Will the system be required to integrate with other NHS systems? If so, how many? This should be explored during the alpha phase.
11. It is understood that separate consultations were undertaken in Wales; is this system intended as a single standard across the UK? The position of the Welsh Govt will be established and talks are on-going but it would be beneficial to share the system. The project isn't applicable to Scotland and Northern Ireland maintain a watching brief at this moment in time.
12. Is Beta expected to include both Private and Public Betas? Yes, subject to performance and a successful outcome from the Alpha phase.
13. Given the expected presentation slots on the 7th-10th September, what is the expected timeline for shortlisting and submitting a written proposal? We anticipate the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit written responses week ending 20 August. Given the standard DOS2 timeframes, the deadline for submitting these responses is likely to be the week ending 05 September.
14. Does this budget for Alpha and Beta include VAT? All costs given are ex VAT.
15. DHSC has completed a Discovery and identified a budget of £1.087m for Beta, what duration in weeks did Discovery recommend for Beta? The objective is to have concluded a private beta by March 2019.
16. Can we assume that our response to the first bullet point can be blank? Correct, no response is required here, this is a comment to aid the presentation of your responses to the subsequent questions. Please enter N/A or another similar statement.
17. Expenses will be paid in accordance with DHSC rates, what are DHSC rates? Expenses can be claimed in accordance with DHSC policy as amended from time to time (the current rates have been added to the Google drive documents). Expenses may only be claimed with prior approval from DHSC and will not normally be paid for attendance at the customers offices in the location intended for the work.
18. What causes access to patient records to be a significant challenge? Trusts operate and use different patient record systems.
19. For avoidance of doubt, can you please confirm that supplier presentation sessions (7th to 11th September) are for suppliers to present their proposal, as opposed to a supplier briefing from DHSC? Correct.
20. Does DHSC expect the supplier to take delivery responsibility for achieving outcomes of Alpha, or does DHSC expect the supplier to only provide resources to operate under DHSC direction? The supplier will have the responsibility for delivering the outcomes, with support and guidance as needed from DHSC.
21. DHSC note that "lots has changed since Discovery" when did Discovery end? July 2017.
22. Have any external suppliers been involved in conducting Discovery, if so who? No, this has been delivered by the internal team only.
23. DHSC has completed a Discovery and identified a budget of £156K for Alpha, what duration in weeks did Discovery recommend for Alpha? 8-10 weeks was recommended, commencing in mid-September this year.
24. With respect the procurement process, for those companies that pass the shortlisting process, can you please state what date you expect proposals to be submitted? We anticipate the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit written responses week ending 20 August. Given the standard DOS2 timeframes, the deadline for submitting these responses is likely to be the week ending 05 September.
25. Will access to existing data sources be available from day one of Alpha? If not, when will this data be accessible? The team will have access to pilot sites, and other requests to data can be made accessible through the appropriate channels.
26. Can you please describe these different data sources at a high level, including the nature of the data source in terms of terms of 1) volume 2) variety (i.e. CSV, relational database, unstructured data) 3) Velocity ( i.e. how often the data sources update, weekly batch, overnight, daily, hourly, near real-time, real time)? Data will be inputted manually by medical examiners into the system, with the potential for for deaths that occurred in hospital to be sent to the system as well.
27. Will this service be taken through the GDS Service Assessment? Yes, there will be a GDS assessment following completion of the Alpha and Beta (live) stages.
28. What criteria will DHSC use to judge whether an evidence answer 'exceeded' requirements and therefore scores full marks (3)? Suppliers will be scored a '3' where the company has demonstrated / evidenced their ability to deliver over and beyond the stated requirement, in a manner that adds value to the project.
29. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting. Yes, that is our intention and suppliers have been informed.
30. In the interests of continuity, which of the resource provided by DHSC during Discovery will also follow through into Alpha? Alternatively, will the chosen supplier have access to the people who worked on Discovery? Yes - internal team members involved in the discovery will be available to speak to. Service maps created during the discovery will be a useful resource for alpha.
31. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated? The total costs presented within the written proposals will be scored as per the stated weightings, with the lowest offered price achieving full marks and all other bids scored in relation to this.
32. Have you identified a desired resource profile? If so, can you please share this and indicate which roles a supplier should fulfil and which DHSC will fulfil? Product manager (Internal), Product manager (external), User researcher (external), Service designer (external), Content designer (external), Technical architect (external), Developer (external), Delivery manager (external), Business analyst (external)
33. You reference interoperability being a key scoping parameter. Is there a candidate technical architecture in mind? If so, can you please share this? There isn't a candidate technical architecture in mind. This should be explored in the alpha phase.
34. Can you pleases advise on whether the first partial sentence in the Essential Knowledge and Skills section should be disregarded or are you going to complete the sentence / question? Thanks No response is required here, this is a comment to aid the presentation of your responses to the subsequent questions. Please enter N/A or another similar statement.
35. Are the spend controls in place already and wil the live Beta need to be delivered on time irrespective of challenges? DHSC recognises timelines are tight, though this is outside of our direct control. Spend Control approvals are already in progress and being streamlined where possible. Progression through to the Beta stage will be dependant on the sucessful completion of the Alpha stage with realistic proceedable solutions being available.
36. Are the home countries included? The programme is not applicable to Scotland, who have their own system, whilst Northern Ireland maintain a watching brief at this time. DHSC is in communciation with Wales and it is expected they will join with the wider ME policy changes, so their own circumstances will require consideration. Regarding the new system for reporting Deaths, currently we do not know Wales's position on this but discussion are ongoing.
37. Is the reporting of and investigation into reasons for deaths sequential or parallel? Where there are no concerns arround causation, the registration must happen in 5 days. However where appropriate investigation is required because there are concerns, the notification period can be set aside for the necessary coroner investigations to be undertaken.
38. Could you describe the current systems' workload and what the ME function is expected to look like? Approximately 500000 deaths occur per annum in the UK. Statistical analysis of the ME role has determined that approximately 1100 staff in the ME role and supporting staff will be needed to undertake the work required. The implementation of the roles will be on a phased basis, reaching 100% by the time the scheme becomes statutory.
39. Will wider visibility be needed on cases for pattern recognition? Further discussion with the Office for National Statistics will be required here, however, analysis takes place after registration of a death and is reliant on the General Register Office's Register On-line system, the purpose of an ME digital system is to facilitate ME functions, exploration of interoperability between the two systems will be a priority during Alpha and Beta.
40. What is the structure of your existing team and how will they be involved in the project on a day to day basis? A member of the policy team will take the internal Product Manager role. This role is expected to be involved day to day. The internal Product Manager will be supported by the DHSC Digital team.
41. How familiar are this team with delivering using Agile? The team has significant Agile experience but the supplier will be expected to upskill members of the policy team in Agile ways of working.
42. What are the key procurement dates for this opportunity? (E.g shortlist dates, proposal submission deadline) We anticipate the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit written responses week ending 20 August. Given the standard DOS2 timeframes, the deadline for submitting these responses is likely to be the week ending 05 September.
43. Do you have a set template for the proposal and will this have a word limit? If so, what is this limit? The response document used will the standard DOS2 template, the maximum word count will be 2500, including drawings, graphs and any attachments. Full details will be confirmed following the conclusion of the shortlisting process.
44. At this point are you aware of any possible integrations the system may require? If so, can you provide details on these? In alpha, possible intergrations with other systems must be explored. As an example, the alpha should explore whether the system can integrate with Registration Online (RON) system at the General Register Office.
45. Do you have a preference with regards to what technology stack is used? (open source vs proprietary) Open source in line with the GDS service standard.
46. You have mentioned that the work will take place Leeds, Gloucestershire, Sheffield and remote locations. Please can you provide more information about this? It is expected that on occasion the supplier will be required to attend pilot sites as well as attend meetings with the DHSC delivery team, based in Leeds.
47. Are you able to provide any more detail on the work and activities you envisage the project requiring, which led to the question ‘Demonstrate the ability to engage with stakeholders and harness learning’? The team should work in the open and blog about their experiences. The team should conduct retrospectivies to reflect on the way they work. The team should conduct show and tells, sharing learnings with the wider department. A team having experience passing the GDS assessment is welcomed.
48. Are you able to provide any more detail on the work and activities you envisage the project requiring, which led to the question 'Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and services into efficient modern solutions'? We would like the supplier to evidence skills and experience they have gained / used on previous projects of this type - 'Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and services into efficient modern solutions'. Following, how you would look to apply your skills and experience here on this project.
49. Please can you advise on the timelines for proposal submission? We anticipate the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit written responses week ending 20 August. Given the standard DOS2 timeframes, the deadline for submitting these responses is likely to be the week ending 05 September.
50. Are you able to share who delivered Discovery? Was this internal or by a third party? The Discovery phase was delivered internally.
51. With which other government departments and non governmental bodies will the new service need to be interoperable with, and how? Eg police forces, HMRC, insurance companies; able to view, edit or submit data Interoperability with existing systems of other Government departments and bodies is to be explored during alpha; currently the General Register Office's Register On-line system is a priority and there may be the need to explore further requirements of the Office for National Statistics.
52. Is it expected that the new service will connect with GP systems to provide access to patient records? To be explored in the alpha.
53. How will a patient’s right to opt out of sharing their medical records affect access for the service? To be explored in the alpha.
54. What precisely has changed since the end of Discovery? The medical examiner will be based in the NHS instead of Local Authorities.
55. What impact have changes since Discovery had on outcomes and/or Alpha expectations? The discovery recommendations are still relevant for the alpha.
56. What was the feedback from the GDS Discovery assessment? There is no GDS assessment after a discovery.
57. Will different users have different levels of access? To be explored in the alpha.
58. Is it expected that users will need to create an account and what level of verification is expected? To be explored in the alpha.
59. Is the digital service expected to be accessed via a web app or a native app, depending on the device? To be explored in the alpha.
60. How much access will the supplier have to the current pilots, and who has designed, implemented and used them? The suppliers will have access to both current pilots and numerous key stakeholders. The pilot sites are well established and have run over a number of years, they offer a unique opportunity to do user research.
61. Is it intended for the supplier to assess the efficacy of existing pilots and adopt one as best practice? No, operating procedures for Medical Examiner sites remain a clinical decision and are out of scope for this project, however, all have common outputs and functions which need to be facilitated digitally.
62. Is it intended that the new service is consistent nationally, or will local bodies be expected to be able to adapt the service? The digital system is be standard across all ME's, to comply with the statutory requirements.
63. Is it intended that the new service will have a messaging and/or sharing function? To be explored in the alpha.
64. Which body or bodies is responsible for recruiting, training and employing medical examiners? NHS England is expected to be responsible for the recruiting and employment of ME's. The Royal College of Pathologists is currently responsible for the profession and training.
65. The collection of fees and payments is mentioned, what are these related to and will the new service be expected to retain this system? This is out of the scope of this project
66. Can we have access to the full Discovery outputs and findings? The discovery report is available in the Google drive. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/140E-_jxTVIho07hL_Q6CERRjrw-oBnJn?usp=sharing
67. How will the supplier be supported to gain access to users and any current suppliers or systems. The policy team can help the supplier with access to key stakeholders. Upcoming events are a good place for the supplier to gain access to users.
68. What is the expected blend of the Alpha and Beta team, eg 20% client and 80% supplier? The majority of the alpha and beta team will be from the supplier. The supplier will be supported by an internal Product Manager, with oversight from the Department's Digital Strategy team.