NHS to build ‘online sharing and collaboration’ platform for health and social care sector

Two-year project to cost up to £1.8m

Credit: Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

The NHS is to create an “online sharing and collaboration” platform for use across the health and social care sector.

The two-year project, which is currently in the early stages of its discovery phase, is expected to cost between £1.2m and £1.8m. 

Since, 2016 the FutureNHS platform – which runs on technology from software firm Kahootz – has provided a collaboration tool for NHS professionals engaged in the health services New Care Models programme.

NHS England and NHS Improvement now wishes to develop its own service to be used by a much wider range of people. The organisation is looking to build “a digital solution which supports online sharing, learning and connecting people across the whole of the health and social care system”. 

A contract notice has been published seeking a supplier to help deliver this work over the next two years. This timeframe will take in a discovery phase with a budget of between £100,000 and £200,000, followed by an alpha stage set to be worth up to £400,000 to the chosen partner. The NHS has set aside up to £1.2m to fulfil the beta phase. 

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A major goal of the new platform will be to support organisations engaged in transformation work to more effectively share knowledge and experiences – thus encouraging innovative new “systems, services and ways of working” to spread throughout the sector.

“Supporting many different organisations and individuals to work together and collaborate efficiently and effectively can be challenging,” the NHS said. “The barriers include a variety of individual IT and digital infrastructures currently in place that do not talk to one another. This makes knowledge sharing, learning, connecting with others and developing cross-organisational projects significantly more difficult to achieve.”

It added: “These silos can result in duplication of work and the divergence of transformation solutions, which impact upon the outputs and positive change that the system is trying to make. Providing a cross-organisational digital online solution that aims to significantly reduce these silos and therefore improve how the system connects, shares and works together is vital in driving forward the delivery of health and social care for the future.”

The winning bidder will provide a delivery team to work with the product manager and other members of the FutureNHS team.

Work will primarily take place at the supplier’s offices, but the contract notice said that “the tool will be used across the country and we would expect appropriate research to be accordingly undertaken”.

Bids for the work are open until 3 December, after which three potential providers will be evaluated. Work is scheduled to commence on 14 January.


Sam Trendall

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