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NHS England raises value of federated data platform


Mark Say Managing Editor

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NHS England has set out more details and increased the projected value of a future federated data platform the health service.

It has published a market opportunity notice for potential suppliers, stating this includes associated services and a value of up to £360 million over five years with options to extend for two more to raise the total to £480 million.

This contrasts with an estimate of £240 million in the prior information notice published in April of last year.

The new notice says the platform will be owned and controlled by NHS England and that its use will not be mandatory, but that NHS trusts, integrated care systems and NHS funded care providers will be able to use it to help solve problems and plan services.

It run as a cloud based software-as-a-service solution, with de-identified data only flowing into it for specific and pre-agreed purposes such as national reporting on vaccine take-up or creating benchmarks for good practice.

Operations and insights

Writing in a blogpost, Dr Timothy Ferris, national director of transformation for NHS England, and Ming Tang, chief data and analytics officer, said the platform will bring together operational data that is currently stored in seperate systems, enabling every trust and ICS to connect their platform with those of others in the health service.

The procurement will give the organisations the software to make this possible.

"The platform will provide ICSs with the insights they need to understand the current and future needs of their populations so they can tailor early preventative interventions and target health and care support," they said. "Patients will have more flexibility and choice about how and where they access services and receive care, helping them to stay healthy for longer. 

"NHS staff will be able to access the information they need in one secure place. This reduces the time they spend chasing referrals, scheduling appointments, and waiting for test results and allows them to work more flexibly to deliver high quality care for their patients."

The earlier procurement notice described the platform as “an ecosystem of technologies and services” and other procurements relevant to the project could be made by other organisations.

According to a policy paper from the Department for Health and Social Care, the platform will be a core feature of a secure environment for the sharing of data in the sector, along with secure data environments run by NHS Digital at national level and other organisations at sub-national level.


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