Start date: Thursday 28 February 2019
Value: £203,940
Company size: SME
NHS Digital

Prj_2167 Strategic service design and digital experience strategy for urgent and emergency care

21 Incomplete applications

18 SME, 3 large

41 Completed applications

29 SME, 12 large

Important dates

Friday 2 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 9 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 16 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The digital urgent and emergency care directorate is seeking service design support for strategic work to inform high-level commissioning and prioritisation decisions. We want to map the end-to-end patient / staff experience, identify where digital can make most impact, and bring the future vision to life through prototypes
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 January 2019
Expected contract length
4-6 Months
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
NHS Digital
Budget range
We expect the work to cost around £150,000 to £250,000.
We realise that it may be difficult to completely scope and cost all the work up front. We have some flexibility in our budget, but suppliers should make sure there is some headroom in their initial costs to accommodate scope changes.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We need to understand where digital has potential to make most impact in urgent and emergency care services and to shape the future digital experience of urgent care for both patients and NHS staff. We have no shortage of vision, ambition and good ideas. But we need to make some hard choices about what to focus on and where to prioritise our efforts. We want to get a big picture view of the end-to-end patient and staff experience, the high level relationships and flows between services, the most significant pain points, and potential of digital to make most impact.
Problem to be solved
Urgent and emergency care is a complex domain delivered by multiple services in a federated system. We need to build a shared understanding of:
· what’s really going on with patients
· what’s really going on with staff
· where the real pain and costs/system inefficiencies are
· where digital has potential to make most impact on patient experience and outcomes
· the most valuable opportunities for ‘channel shift’: from physical to digital channels, and from high to low acuity care settings
· the factors that enable or prevent best practice becoming embedded within the system
Who the users are and what they need to do
The main users are:
1. People seeking help with an urgent health problem, for themselves or someone they care for
2. Frontline clinical and non-clinical staff working in NHS urgent care settings in England
3. Providers and commissioners of urgent care services, IT systems and digital tools

The purpose of this discovery is to clarify who these users are and what their needs are from urgent and emergency care services.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There are four multi-disciplinary programme teams in Digital Urgent and Emergency Care Directorate within NHS Digital, working on both patient and staff-facing digital services. That means we have a lot of existing user research on parts of the UEC journey and particular user groups which could be mined.

Our in-house service design team started in September 2018. We are in the process doing some preliminary discovery work including collating existing user research, stakeholder interviews and workshops.

We have done extensive stakeholder engagement around the vision for digital urgent and emergency care. This work has been stakeholder and not user focused.
Existing team
Lead (contractor) and Senior (permanent staff) Service Designer working 2-3 days a week on urgent and emergency care. Based in Leeds.

Technical architects, business analysts, data analysts, and stakeholder engagement working across programmes are available to help with the service design work. Split between Leeds and London. Senior programme/directorate personnel are based in London.

Programme teams are based in Leeds, London, Exeter and Southampton. User researchers and designers are embedded in several of those teams.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Bridgewater Place, Leeds
Skipton House, London

User research, site visits and stakeholder workshops will need to take place at locations throughout England
Working arrangements
We encourage flexible working, but we would expect supplier staff to spend significant time on-site in Leeds working collaboratively with the in-house service design team. The in-house team currently work 2.5-3 days a week Tue-Thu. We'd expect there to be regular workshops and meetings in London (Skipton House)

Site visits and user research will need take place throughout England in a range of locations and care settings

We are open to working remotely provided you can demonstrate a proven track record of doing highly collaborative design work with a remote team, and can provide suitable tools to enable that
Security clearance
Baseline Personal Security Standard will be required for any members of the supplier team who may have access to patient identifiable data or other sensitive personal information. We would expect this would include any user researchers, data analysts, service designers and project managers.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Only approved expenses supported by valid receipts in line with NHS Digital Travel policy will be paid.

Expenses are capped to a maximum of 10% of the contract value

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
  • Successfully leading strategic, user-centred discovery work to understand the end-to-end lived experience of users
  • Successfully using a user-centred discovery process to drive strategic change
  • Successfully planning and conducting user research across a complex ecosystem involving multiple channels, touchpoints and types of user, demonstrating an understanding of how and when to use different methods
  • Proven track record and robust methodology for conducting contextual / ethnographic-style field research
  • Proven track record and robust methodology for conducting user research with vulnerable people and handling sensitive personal information
  • Successfully synthesising large volumes of user research and succinctly communicating user needs, motivations, behaviours and pain points to senior stakeholders
  • Demonstrable experience prototyping new or disruptive digital experiences
  • Demonstrable experience and proven approach to successfully making user research and service design a 'team sport'
  • Successfully establishing trusted advisory relationships with senior leaders in large organisations
  • That the specific team members assigned to the work will have the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience referred to in your submission
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of successfully leading service design work in a complex service ecosystem involving multiple channels, touchpoints and service providers
  • Demonstrable experience of using data analysis to complement and augment insights from qualitative user research
  • Understanding and previous experience working with NHS services and the challenges faced within the NHS and urgent care system
  • Demonstrable understanding of when and how to use different types and fidelity of artefacts and prototypes to validate concepts and communicate and get buy-in from a range of stakeholders
  • Demonstrable experience of successfully using insights from user research to make recommendations that change the approach of senior/board-level decision makers
  • Demonstrable experience of successfully designing, prototyping and testing new or disruptive 'omnichannel' experiences that span digital and physical touchpoints
  • Demonstrable experience using lean, lightweight methods to provide actionable user insights to fast-paced, agile delivery teams

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the approach and methodology will deliver robust insights into the lived experience of patients and staff across the urgent care system in England
  • How the approach, methodology and deliverables will build shared understanding of the urgent care landscape/ecosystem and needs of different actors within it, among all key stakeholders
  • How the approach, methodolgy and deliverables will enable us to identify the most valuable opportunities for digital to make a difference to patients and staff
  • How the approach, methodolgy and deliverables will enable us to make high-level commissioning and prioritisation decisions
  • How the approach, methodolgy and deliverables will bring to life key elements of the future vision for digital urgent and emergency care, and get buy-in for that vision from stakeholders
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Team structure, skills and experience
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you have established trusted advisory relationships with senior leaders in large, complex organisations
  • Outline your style and approach to working with a multidisciplinary in-house team, with examples of how you have established productive, collaborative relationships on previous projects
  • Outline your style & approach to introducing new ways of working and challenging the status quo, and provide at least 2 examples of where you have done this successfully
  • Outline your style and approach to working transparently & collaboratively when making decisions and recommendations, with at least 2 examples of how you have used the techniques successfully
  • Outline your style and approach to ensuring user research and service design is treated as a 'team sport', with examples from at least 2 previous projects
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 there any additional information available for this for this opportunity?.
Supporting information can be found on our Bravo portal by following the link and clicking on 'View our Live Opportunities' and then the project titled ‘2167 CTP Strategic Service Design.

You will need to login to Bravo or register in order to be able to open the information contained in pre_126.

There you will find an Instruction Document, Draft SOW
2. Will a WebEx be held for this opportunity?
On the 13th November 2018 from 2pm there will be a one hour open Q&A session for any interested suppliers.

Format: Webex video conference with a short presentation, followed by open Q&A. You can also join via phone.

Access Details


Dial-in number: 0203-478-5289
Meeting number/access code: 956 720 332

Webex software and browser plugins can be downloaded from
3. Please can you confirm that Suppliers should only respond to the essential & nice to have skills as published on digital market place or if you require anything additional at this 1st stage?
No additional information is required at this stage.
4. Please can you confirm that this is being procured on the DOS2 framework. Please note this is now the old framework and DOS3 is now live.
This piece of work will be procured under DoS 3 please ignore any reference to DoS 2.
5. Can I check the process involved in this procurement?
My understanding is that we are to complete the SoW and return this by 11.59 (noon) on 16th Nov.
The portal seems to have no questions and no option to upload an attachment e.g. the completed SoW or have I missed something?
That is incorrect. This is a DoS outcomes procurement. Suppliers are required to complete their response on the CCS DoS Portal against the criteria set out. The questions which relate to this procurement are on the CCS DoS Portal. The SoW is only uploaded on Bravo for information purposes only as the CCS DoS portal does not allow for attachments. The closing date and time for responses to this procurement is outlined on the DoS Portal. Please ensure all questions are via the CCS DoS Portal
6. Can I please clarify what it is you are requiring with regards to a supplier response. We see that you have shared a draft SOW, which we are currently reviewing. However is there any other documentation, or structure of a response within the portal, we should be having visibility of please.
See response to question 5 above
7. Is the scope of work limited to discovery phase with prototyping? Do you expect the same supplier to be able to manage the development and support of the selected solution?
The scope is limited to discovery phase with prototyping/alpha. We do not expect the same supplier to be able to manage development and support of any solutions. Development of any proposed solutions would involve a separate supplier procurement
8. Do you have any preferred tools to be used for prototyping that a proposed team needs to be knowledgeable about?
No. We would however expect any prototypes to be “editable” by in-house staff or future suppliers. We use a variety of tools internally but typically have access to html/css/is (code prototypes), sketch, Axure etc…
9. As for prototypes do you expect high fidelity prototypes created with involvement of user interface design experts?
We would expect the team to include interaction design / user interface design expertise to design and test concepts and prototypes, regardless of their fidelity.
We don’t necessarily expect high fidelity prototypes and they are not a requirement. We would expect the supplier to recommend the appropriate level of fidelity for deliverable given our objectives.
10. Do you expect the supplier to submit a proposed architecture and design as an output at the end of the phase (in addition to the prototypes mentioned)?
11. On the document, it is mentioned a 4-6 months projects starting 1st Jan 2019. In the SoW from the NHS all activities are finishing on 31/03/2019. Could you please clarify deadline?
The timeline for this piece of work may vary depending on the approach put forward. Whilst we expect the work to be completed by March 2019, the provision to extend has been included to allow for the work to be concluded if necessary”
12. Define what you mean by 'future'. Are you thinking next year, 3, 5, 10 years?
We need to be able to make immediate (1-2 year) prioritisation decisions, while understanding how that work contributes to longer term (5-10 year) ambitions.
13. Have you done any preliminary mapping activity on the state of urgent care services and their digital maturity across the country?
14. Where does the ambition of this work sit (prevention, demand management, efficiency, customer experience, etc.)?
The suggested prioritisation of “impact” from the draft SOW probably helps answer this. We suggested our goals should be, in roughly this priority order, to identify opportunities to:

1. Improve health outcomes for patients (clinical need)
2. Reduce unnecessary distress or anxiety for patients (emotional need)
3. Increase staff efficiency and ability to meet patients’ needs
4. Reduce or mitigate system pressure (leading to sustainable health services which meet patients’ needs free at point of delivery)
5. Be more convenient for patients (practical need)
15. How does will this programme of work interface with other urgent care transformation programmes?
The programme operates within Digital Urgent Care, in NHS digital. We expect to work closely with national digital UEC transformation programmes - 111 Online, Access to services Information, Clinical Triage Platform.

The programme will also work closely with its NHS England SRO, and his team, and with local NHS UEC transformation teams.

Examination of the interaction between national and local UEC components may be a useful programme activity.

We have in place an active stakeholder engagement lead, good contacts within local NHS providers, a Clinical Advisory Board, including local clinical representatives, and formal communication channels - regular newsletter, Slack etc
16. Can you describe how you see the working relationship between the supplier and the Lead Service Designer? Will the Lead Service Designer be part of the supplier team and work in close collaboration? Or will the Lead Service Designer be busy with other work and leave the majority of this piece of work to the supplier?
We expect the Lead Service Designer to work in close collaboration with the supplier team. In particular the Lead Service Designer will be responsible for determining that the suppliers’ approach and proposed deliverables etc… meets NHS Digital’s requirements. The Lead Service Designer will also have other work, but the majority of their time is expected to be devoted to this piece.
17. The SOW mentions “agile methodologies”. Are there any specific methodologies in use already or is this referring to a general application of agile methods?
We adhere to GDS agile principles, work to sprints, produce our deliverables iteratively, plan our tasks in backlogs, progress them using Kanban boards and adhere to agile ceremonies.
We also put the emphasis on user needs and run our workshops in an agile manner.
18. Does the DUEC team already have a map/model/point of view on the number, location and variety of sites that should be included in the research to ensure a sufficient representation between urban and rural areas?
No – we would be looking to the supplier to recommend an approach to research that would ensure sufficient representation of the variety of experiences of urgent care in different parts of England
19. Will someone from the DUEC team or other NHS staff be able to secure the necessary clearances/permissions/timings for site visits and research or will this be the responsibility of the supplier?
It will be the responsibility of the supplier but DUEC teams can assist with this
20. For the ecosystem map, would you see this activity focusing only on NHS actors, touchpoints, etc. or would you see it potentially extending to private healthcare options as well?
We would expect to focus on NHS services, including those delivered by private sector providers. The map should capture any relevant private health care services – ie those not free at point of need to patients via NHS - but we do not expect private health care services to be mapped in detail
21. The SOW contains an initial proposal for four core groups of patients. Does something similar exist for NHS staff or does that need to be identified through the project?
That needs to be identified through the project
22. Could you please confirm that Suppliers are invited to submit a response which proposes a consortium or partnership of specialists to fully deliver the requirements?
The supplier response should describe the roles in the team that would be put forward to undertake the tasks required to deliver the requirements. Suppliers may propose any suitable organisational structure eg consortia, partnership, so long as it complies with the DOS terms and conditions.
23. Could you please clarify if any particular types of prototyping, artefacts or technologies are currently used by the programme, and which ones are preferred?
Similar to Q8; We would expect any prototypes to be “editable” by in-house staff or future suppliers. We use a variety of tools internally but typically have access to html/css/js (code prototypes), sketch, Axure etc…
24. Does NHS Digital consider this work to be in or out of scope of IR35?
Out of scope
25. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting
No, stage one is shortlisting only
26. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated?
Percentage against lowest price offered
27. When suppliers are asked to submit evidence, the following advice is given: "You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise)." Do you want suppliers to provide one example for each evidence answer?
Please complete all boxes with evidence which relate to the question. DOS asks suppliers to provide one example for each skills and experience requirement. This means we won’t score a supplier down if they only provide one example. You can reuse examples across different skills and experience requirements. Where we ask for a ‘proven track record’ we would expect to you to provide sufficient evidence to show a ‘track record’, for which you can provide multiple examples.
28. Can we ask what criteria NHS Digital will be using to judge whether an evidence answer 'exceeded' requirements and therefore scores full marks (3)?
To achieve a 3 supplier will have to demonstrate in their response they have experience over an above what criteria set out .
29. What roles will NHS Digital deploy during Discovery
The supplier will be embedded within the DUEC team in NHS Digital. NHS Digital are not expecting to provide dedicated full-time NHS Digital staff or contractors to the discovery. However, a number of staff will be actively involved and consulted including people in the following roles:
- Service design
- Technical Architecture
- Stakeholder and Supplier Engagement
- Business Analysts
- Clinical Leads (SMEs on working as clinicians in urgent care)
- Data Analysts
30. Is this procurement solely for Discovery with the intention to reprocure for any future phases?
Similar to Q7; The scope is limited to discovery phase with prototyping/alpha. We do not expect the same supplier to be able to manage development and support of any solutions. Development of any proposed solutions would involve a separate supplier procurement
31. What is your expected timeline for procurement after the first stage (submitting skills and experience)?
We intent to have a supplier start with us early January. We are finalising the details of the process that we will follow with shortlisted suppliers and this will be confirmed to you shortly
32. Will you accept bids from a consortium or a supplier that is sub-contracting to another supplier?
In line with the DOS terms and conditions, yes we will accept bids from consortia or suppliers who are sub-contracting the work
33. To clarify this is a discovery phase only and there is not an expectation for alpha / beta testing in this phase / within this budget?
Similar to Q7 and Q30; The scope is limited to discovery phase with prototyping/alpha. We do not expect the same supplier to be able to manage development and support of any solutions. Development of any proposed solutions would involve a separate supplier procurement

We would expect there to be some validation of prototypes to check that the high-level approach is desirable/viable. But as we expect prototypes to be quite conceptual we wouldn’t expect this to involve in-depth usability testing.
34. Which domain within NHS Digital are leading this and can we see an org structure?
Yes we can confirm the Domain is the Digital Urgent and Emergency Care Directorate (formerly ‘Domain B’) you can read more about NHS Digital here and more about Urgent and Emergency Care here and more about Urgent and Emergency Care here
35. What is you current segmentation for demand and use of emergency care? Can we have access to this?
At this stage of the procurement process we are not providing this information
For background, related statistics can be found at
36. Is a recording of the supplier Q&A session available?
Yes, you can access the video of the session at:

Stream recording:

Download recording: