NHS England publishes £35 million tender for privacy enhancing tech

NHS England has opened a tender worth an estimated £35 million to procure privacy enhancing technology (PET) “to provide robust protection and deliver a standard approach to support safe data use”.

The technology is to be initially deployed for the federated data platform (FDP) programme and will potentially include cloud-based software as a service solutions capable of providing data privacy and protection for the FDP and the wider NHS. NHSE describes it as a “distinct service that is a required part of the overall NHS data protection ecosystem and FDP capability for sharing data safety and securely.”

PET must have the ability to treat shared data between all levels of the NHS and be flexible enough to handle both traditional data protection scenarios, as well as being extensible to new and emerging data trends to align with the NHS aspiration to broaden the use of PET beyond FDP.” As such, bidders are advised to ensure that their solution is designed around open standards to support integration and scaling.

It will be used across NHSE’s remit, with NHSE as the primary users along with trusts and integrated care systems and boards.

NHSE notes that connectivity between NHS enterprise data platforms is “extremely important” as they enable rapid scaling and sharing of local tools and applications, ultimately supporting the levelling up agenda. The supplier may need to engage with all organisations using the technology in some form, including the 42 ICSs, 240+ NHS trusts, and other commissioned providers of NHS services.

The initial contract is for three years, with an additional option to extend by 24 months, 12 months and a further 12 months with a total estimated value of £35 million across this period. NHSE notes that the “actual contract value will depend on the extent of the use of the service.”

The contract is to begin in October 2023. To access the procurement notice in full, please click here.