Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

Start date: Monday 13 May 2019
Value: £192,000
Company size: SME

NHS / DWP data-sharing technical proof of concept

15 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 1 large

10 Completed applications

4 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Monday 4 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 11 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 18 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Requirement for technically viable proposals to integrate DWP requests for medical information into a new digital service for administering DWP Health-related benefits.

We're building a digital service to gather information from citizens and present this to DWP processing agents and seeking a tangible deliverable through a condensed 'Alpha / pre-Beta'.
Latest start date
Monday 18 March 2019
Expected contract length
Up to twelve weeks (12)
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
To improve the accuracy and efficiency of administering applications to DWP Health-related benefits.
To build on our 'Discovery' research that's identified current and emerging technologies to support interoperability between healthcare organisations and test the viability of automating / digitising the current manual processes that surround information requests between DWP and NHS.
Our Discovery research proved we can improve the efficiency and accuracy of this process by automating routine requests for medical information (i.e. GP details, conditions diagnosed, hospital stays etc) and providing a digital route for ad-hoc requests (how the health condition affects the patient on a day-to day basis)
Problem to be solved
High time and cost gathering the information needed to make a decision about the right support to provide someone with a health condition or disability. This is a 'stand alone' request to work with our digital delivery team and get to the next stage of development as efficiently and effectively as possible. We would expect the outputs of this work (eg any code base developed, connectivity created etc) to be owned by DWP at the end of the contract with no commercial dependencies on further development and deployment.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a citizen applying for a health-related benefit I need a decision about the support I am entitled to as quickly and accurately as possible.

As a DWP agent processing applications to health-related benefits, I need quick access to verified medical information, so that I can accurately and effectively determine the right level of support for the citizen.

As a medical professional, I need the process of providing medical information to DWP to be as frictionless as possible, so that I can focus on helping my patient.
Early market engagement
We have had informal conversations with organisations developing solutions to share data within and beyond the NHS.
We are aware of the growing landscape of existing and emerging solutions for sharing data within and beyond the NHS - our Discovery research included engaging with one such interoperability provider - and are looking for proposals for how best to take this forward to meet DWP needs and minimise our impact on the NHS.
Any work that’s already been done
We've completed Discovery, including proof of concept research with a medical records broker, finding:
- Citizens don't always have / understand the information needed to process their applications - we have to verify their responses with medical professionals - easier if we could access directly (with appropriate consent)
- The current process is largely clerical / paper-based, which is slow and expensive - easier if automated routine requests and digitise ad-hoc requests.
- GPs don't always have / understand information about citizens' 'functional capability', therefore route needed to more relevant medical professionals, such as secondary and community care providers.
Existing team
There is an existing DWP feature team in Leeds building the system to capture information from citizens and present this to DWP agents.

The intended outcome of this work is to produce a viable solution to building requests for medical information into this system. We do not need to the outcome of this work to be 'production ready', but it does need to be in a state that DWP can take it forward and develop and deliver it - we are looking for something beyond technical options with illustrative prototypes / wireframes.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working arrangements
We want close-working with the existing feature team in Leeds, but are flexible about how best to achieve this (eg the provider may use their own premises if geographically convenient for Leeds). We would also like to use this work to help inform the list of viable / prioritised use cases – such as specific data calls, or secure requests for unscripted medical evidence – along with a description of the subsequent steps to achieve that we can factor into our backlog / roadmap.
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
  • Demonstrate the proposed solution meets all the functional requirements of the proposal
  • How well does the proposed solution align with DWP Blueprint patterns such as use of micro services, event driven architecture and cloud deployment
  • Demonstrate the proposed solution can be developed according to the GDS codes of practice
  • Demonstrate that the proposed solution will be developed using the DWP approved technology stack such as Java, Node.js and open source databases
  • Demonstrate the proposed solution is platform agnostic and can deployed on to a public or private cloud environment
  • Demonstrate that the proposed solution can be easily ported in to Health AWS Cloud platform
  • Demonstrate that the proposed solution will not rely on any commercial packaged software
  • Demonstrate that the proposed solution will meet the security requirements of DWP
  • Demonstrate that the proposed solution complies with all the data requirements and does not raise any data breach issues with in the department
  • Demonstrate how the proposed solution will meet the NFR requirements such as Performance, Scalability, Capacity, Availability, Reliability and Recoverability
  • Demonstrate how the proposed solution will meet the NFR requirements such as Maintainability, Serviceability and Regulatory
  • Confirm that the full rights of the software lie with DWP not the supplier.
  • Demonstrate experience of online identification of users and related healthcare records
  • Demonstrate experience of user research with a wide range of users, including vulnerable members of the public and Healthcare Professionals.
  • Demonstrate experience of rapid iterative prototyping based on ongoing user research.
  • Demonstrate experience of healthcare interoperability technolgies and standards.
  • Demonstrate experience of data sharing across government departments, and understanding of the supporting legislation and constraints.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Demonstrate experience of delivering services within the benefits and health assessments processes.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable experience of engaging a diverse range of internal / external stakeholders, including health and social care.
  • Demonstrable experience of building relationships to support digital transformation.
  • Demonstrable experience and evidence of efficient and effective delivery of digitally enabled public services.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering national services for UK government departments and/or public bodies.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Health AWS Cloud platform – what is this please?
Health Amazon Web Services Platform – The Health AWS platform is an AWS environment where the applications to support multiple benefit lines are hosted. The applications are using cloud agnostic components, but in some cases may be using AWS specific components. The proposed solution by the supplier should be easily portable in to this platform which means they should demonstrate that the solutions are built using cloud agnostic tools and can be deployed on to a AWS platform without much change.
2. DWP Blueprint patterns – can you share this document please?
DWP Blueprint patterns – The blueprint document is an internal document and cannot be shared. However the blueprint patterns states that any solution with a DWP environment should follow a Micro services and Event driven architecture. The application should use API gateway patterns, open source data base technologies, cloud agnostic deployments and should also be containerised. The suppliers should be able to demonstrate that the proposed solution meets the above patterns.
3. What's your budget?
As per the advertisement the Department has not published a Budget for this opportunity
4. 'Demonstrate the proposed solution meets all the functional requirements of the proposal' – Can you share your functional-requirements/proposal please?
The Functional Requirements are outlined in the 'Essential Skills and Experience of the publication.
5. Demonstrate the proposed solution meets all the functional requirements of the proposal", Are there any further functional requirements to be shared in this ITT please?
The Functional Requirements are outlined in the 'Essential Skills and Experience of the publication.
6. How do suppliers obtain NHS data ?
DWP require an API solution/system to expose this data. DWP are looking for direct integration if possible. A Technically Viable Product (TVP) is the outcome DWP are looking for.
7. Have DWP explored challenges of data sharing agreements with NHS ?
This has been looked into during previous Discovery POC's, but this would need to be considered as part of the solution put forward by suppliers
8. Is there an MOU in place between DWP & NHS regarding data sharing?
DWP are already working with NHS Digital, this would be an extension of this work
9. The publication on the Digital Marketplace states identifying current/emerging technologies, what are these ?
DWP teams in Health are looking at Node JS and Java, Drop Wizard and would expect the solution to encompass these applications. DWP are aware of NHS applications that could be technically feasible to integrate with and share this data nationwide. The solution would be built on DWP Heath AWS platform, or on a supplier platform then ported over to DWP. GP Connect was called out as a potential NHS app. We are not in a position to share details of NHS applications as we do not own this information.
10. DWP mention "emerging technologies" what is DWP's definition of this ?
DWP do not want to be fixed on any old, legacy technology ideally we are looking at Cloud technology first. We acknowledge that Emerging Technology is probably not the right phrase. DWP would expect the supplier solution to cut across both DWP and NHS technology and applications.
11. DWP have indicated an Alpha/Beta phase, however this feels more of a Discovery phase from requirements and discussion?
DWP want the outcome to be MVP that could be used for a Beta phase.
12. Do DWP have any thoughts of how to leverage data and use for assessments or analysis of data?
Data extraction is the primary requirement as DWP would be looking to perform analysis internally.
13. Is there a bigger picture when data could be shared across Government, councils for example?
This is out of scope of this piece of work. The primary use for the data is for Health/disability assessments, medical information etc.,
14. Are DWP expecting a pre-built system/solution or just Development and Design ?
DWP are expecting a new product unless a supplier has a version of something that could be used or adapted to meet this requirement.
15. Are DWP after a solution or a proposition ?
A proposition, unless a supplier has a solution available already
16. To confirm is this primarily Development and Design or presentation of something already built ?
DWP are expecting a new product unless a supplier has a version of a solution that could be used or adapted to meet this requirement. If so, DWP would like to understand what the solution is. If this is built then this would be useful, but it is not expected and a technical viable proposition absolutely acceptable.
17. Can the outputs of the Discovery be shared, to provide context for the 'Essential skills and Experience' responses?
The Discovery trial ran for 8 weeks last summer in 10 GP surgeries. Of the data requests made, 94% of reports were returned. 29% of these were rejected due to claimants not being matched against surgery records, patients not being registered or where there were incorrect patient details. Of the 71% reports received, 47.5% were called for an examination, 5% were put in the claimant support group and 47.5% were unable to make decisions due to insufficient evidence. The key finding was that data could be exchanged digitally with the journey being more secure, saving time and effort for all.
18. Were any suppliers engaged for the Discovery phase? If so, can you advise who undertook the work?
Niche Health Limited were engaged in the Discovery phase.
19. While recognising there are "no commercial dependencies on further development and deployment", what is the likelihood of a supplier being engaged for any subsequent Beta phase?
This is for a defined Alpha scope of work. Any subsequent phases will be subject to competition. We expect the outputs of this phase to be owned by DWP and if there are any subsequent phases we will share these outputs with the market to create a level playing field.
20. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would DWP expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the Digital Outcomes and Specialists buyers’ guide: Beyond the guidance that has already been provided, DWP will not advise Bidders how to respond to specific requirements in order to gain maximum scores. There is an expectation that Bidders should competently provide responses that are relevant by describing how their organisation meets each of the requirements and, if applicable, articulate within their responses how their organisation may exceed the requirement, provided it is within the context/scope of the requirement and overall solution as a whole.
21. Can the supplier of the Discovery phase bid for this piece of work?
Any supplier on the Digital Marketplace can bid for this piece of work.
22. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are DWP only requesting one example per skills and experience question?
As per the DOS Guidelines, suppliers will not be scored down if they only provide one example. DWP will accept one example for each skills and experience requirement. Suppliers can reuse examples across different skills and experience requirements as long as it shows they are capable of meeting the requirement.
23. Would DWP accept proposals that offer a different commercial that may not carry the risk premium that comes with Fixed Price? Eg Time and Materials
As per the advertisement, DWP want all suppliers to bid on a fixed price quote.
24. Can the outputs from the Discovery be shared with suppliers please? This will help ensure a level-playing field for this procurement.
Please see response to Q17 on the Digital Marketplace.
25. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
The scoring process will be as per the DOS guidance. The Department intends scoring from the shortlisting stage to be taken through to the final assessment evaluation scoring.
26. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated?
The evaluation of price will be conducted in accordance with the Digital Outcomes and Specialists buyers’ guide:
27. The ‘Essential skills and experience’ section, which has been referred to in previous questions as the requirements list, references a proposal for the functional requirements. Can this proposal be shared?
Please see response to Q4 on the Digital Marketplace. The proposal referred to in the Essential Skills and Experience section is referring to the bidders proposed solution or proposition – see Q15 on the Digital Marketplace.
28. Are the non-functional and data requirements also outlined in the proposal referenced above?
Please see response to Q4 on the Digital Marketplace.
29. What are your rough timelines please (this isn’t mentioned in the DOS notice), i.e. when will we know about ‘Shortlisted suppliers’, when do you expect the ‘Written proposal’ + ‘Case study’ + ‘Work history’ + 'References' to be submitted and when will you hold the 'Presentations'?
At present the anticipated timelines are as follows:

* Suppliers notified of shortlist results and RfP issued: 21/02/19
* It is anticipated that the only assessment method to be used will be presentations and these are likely to be held on the 6th March in Leeds

Please note the above dates are subject to change at DWP’s discretion.
30. The evaluation panel – who is on it?
We are not able to disclose the names of who will be on the evaluation panel but can confirm it will consist of three members with the necessary expertise to assess the tenders and to make sound judgements on technical, financial and contractual matters. The same members will be available throughout the evaluation process.
31. Many of the Skills and Experience questions about a proposed solution as opposed to evidence of previous experience. Are you expecting suppliers to refer to a proposed solution in these answers or previous experience?
Suppliers are asked to provide one example of proof of skills and experience for each Skills and Experience requirement. Your example/s can be based on previous experience or a proposed solution as long as it provides proof of skills and experience.
32. What do DWP want to see as an answer to the first Essential skill 'Demonstrate the proposed solution meets all the functional requirements of the proposal'? This doesn't appear to be asking for evidence of previous experience and the functional requirements appear to be listed in the other Skills and Experience questions.
DWP would want to see proof of skills and experience that the supplier has the ability to meet the functional requirements. Whether that is based on experience or definition of a future solution.
33. What roles are DWP expecting to provide as part of this contract?
DWP are expecting to provide a Senior Product Owner and Business Analyst.
34. Is this service to be accessed through
This service will not necessarily be citizen facing but GDS styles and standards should be adhered to.
35. Are you looking for a supplier with GDS assessment experience?
This would be helpful but not essential. We are looking for a supplier with the most relevant proof of skills and experience to meet or exceed our requirements.
36. Are you expecting to delivery this project in an agile way?
Yes we are expecting to deliver this project in an agile way.
37. What specific roles are DWP expecting a supplier to provide under this contract? How many of each role?
This is for each supplier to determine based upon their technically viable proposals / solution.
38. What are the nature of the endpoints for making the request for attributes and for receiving the requests. What is the citizen journey as part of this process?
This has not yet been defined. The assumption is that the citizen will be presented with options to provide data during the application stage
39. DWP recently adopted a new Enterprise Architecture to address the broad spectrum of design patterns and use cases for External Data Sharing, is this being followed or applied in this context. Whilst access to the document is only available to DWP staff and existing suppliers its existence is public knowledge so it would be helpful to know if this aligned or not
The proposal should be aligned to DWP Architecture patterns. See previous response “The blueprint document is an internal cannot be shared. However the blueprint patterns states that any solution with a DWP environment should follow a Micro services and Event driven architecture. The application should use API gateway patterns, open source data base technologies, cloud agnostic deployments and should also be containerised. The suppliers should be able to demonstrate that the proposed solution meets the above patterns”
40. Would be open to the idea of an Untethered Personal Health Record being the source of the verified attributes and / or a place that the citizen could keep their own copy of the attribute and a record of the transaction.
DWP would want to explore and test the most appropriate method for data exchange during this phase.
41. Do you expect the citizen to be active participant in the process of reviewing and approving the requirement for data sharing between the NHS and DWP. Is this considered to be a recurring requirement or a one time transaction or will DWP need to continue to get validation of status or specific updates if circumstances change]
The citizen will have an active relationship with DWP until they no longer require support.
42. How many transactions per day are envisaged for a live service and during the proof of concept. Will real citizen data be used during the alpha/beta stage
At proof of concept stage, minimal transactions would be expected.
43. Would you be prepared to accept a verified attribute from an alternative source in this a personal data store holding the verified attributes you require to support the application process.
44. Can clarify the basis on which attribute exchange is being undertaken, will you be using informed consent under GDPR or relying on other regulations or basis for data exchange
Informed consent is the current assumption but DWP would expect design assumptions to be tested through the proof of concept phase
45. We have a platform as a service available on G-Cloud today that could be used for the proof of concept and could be used to serve a production requirement in an innovative way either as a platform as a service or through a licensing deal. We also offer advice and support services to organisations wishing to experiment. We are supporting the UK Government work on attribute assurance and also Scottish Government Attribute led approach to entitlement and identity
We thank you for your posting. As this opportunity is being run on the Digital Market Place DOS3, if you are interested in applying and already registered on DOS3, please complete an application via this route.
46. We see other suppliers have asked for further functional details. There is not enough detail to be able to provide fixed-price quotation. Do you plan to hold a supplier briefing event?
We held a Supplier Q&A on the 6th February at 13:00. Questions and responses given have all been recorded here on the Digital Marketplace
47. Re. the non-skill/experience types requirements, normally DOS procurements only provide details of a proposal at stage 2. Please can you confirm how suppliers should respond to giving evidence of those at Stage 1 given the lack of detail?
Please see response given to question 27