Department of Health CQRS Service Procurement

The Department of Health

ASE Consulting was engaged on the procurement delivery for the Department of Health’s Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS).


The Challenge

The Quality Management and Analysis System (QMAS), that processed a voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for 8,000 General Practice (GP) surgeries in England, was due to expire in July of 2012.

In 2010, the Department of Health (DH) decided to engage NHS Connecting for Health to procure the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) to replace QMAS and to provide further functionality to support other national and local incentives. This included payments to GP surgeries and subsequently GP consortia, and to other commissioning organisations.

The replacement was required quickly, with regulated procurement to service delivery in 22 months; had to be delivered to timetable to ensure GPs could be paid; and had to be fully flexible in order to give DH the ability to change the incentive regime from day one.

Our approach

ASE Consulting was engaged on the procurement delivery, which was conducted using the competitive dialogue procedure, and was responsible for the following elements of the procurement:

  • Support to a market engagement industry day pre-receipt of Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) responses
  • Review and finalisation of the OJEU notice and PQQ phase materials, including the PQQ evaluation model
  • Taking the lead for all commercial and financial contract matters, including the development of the draft contract content, bidder dialogue and evaluation
  • Procurement, commercial and financial knowledge transfer to client team in the form of the development and delivery of sessions explaining the objectives of each procurement stage, how to successfully conduct the stage and the likely project challenges and risks to be addressed
  • Structure and management of the competitive dialogue process, including the incorporation of pricing options and variant bids
  • The construction of a sophisticated evaluation model, incorporating the following qualitative and quantitative components:
    • quality score
    • contract price and extension price
    • any material deficiencies in tenders, incentivising bidders to rectify
    • specifying and evaluating the price of a volume of expansion services
    • termination for convenience payments
    • the benefits of any variant bids submitted the model enabled the evaluation of all key bid components, incentivising bidders to develop the most appropriate solutions and address issues before the next stage
    • Developing the method of determining the most economically advantageous tender
    • Identifying and evaluating any material deficiencies in tenders at each stage
    • Final Tender included value for money options capable of selection at contract award
    • Production of the evaluation reports at each stage and presentation to the Project Board
    • Post evaluation debriefing of successful and unsuccessful bidders at each stage
    • Leading engagement with bidders during all stages of the dialogue process
    • Negotiation with higher approval bodies to secure commercial and financial contract terms capable of acceptance by HMG
    • Preparing and finalising the contract ready for execution with the preferred bidder

The Results

  • Procurement delivered to timetable with no resulting issues
  • Achievement of a number of novel contract terms for the benefit of the NHS
  • Achievement of a delivery timetable performance regime to fully protect the NHS from any delay costs
  • Procurement process and evaluation model identified risks/issues early and incentivised bidders to remove them and develop the most appropriate solutions, including a number of variant bids
  • Value-for-money options were selected and resulted in multi-£100ks savings
  • Developed the concept of a volume boundary for the contracted services against a number of service dimensions, clarifying the scope and locking-in firm prices for any subsequently required expansion