NHS seeks supplier to continue Palantir’s work on Covid-19 data store

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NHS England and Improvement are seeking a supplier to provide a platform to continue the work of the NHS Covid-19 data store, which is currently run by Palantir.

The procurement process began on 1 September, Digital Health News understands and NHS England and Improvement is currently “proceeding with an assessment and selection of the appropriate service”.

The procurement will be awarded under the GCloud framework, which does not require NHS England to publish a tender.

The supplier will be expected to “provide a basis for data collection, improved analysis, reporting and the development of data models, as well, as be capable of handling multiple structured and unstructured data sources”, according to a prior information notice for the contract.

“In order to provide for the support of a data store to meet the longer term needs and as part of the delivery of its requirements, NHS England and Improvement intends to procure a data platform and associated data integration, curation and analytics services,” it states.

Digital Health News understand the contract could be worth up to £18m a year over five-years, totaling almost £100m by the of it.

The platform is currently run by Palantir which has built analytical dashboards accessible by NHS England and Improvement staff.

In July the company’s contract was extended for four months. NHSX confirmed it was a “direct award” using the GCloud framework.

The framework provides access to more than 4,000 suppliers, an NHS England spokesperson said. The organisation will be “engaging with shortlisted suppliers to clarify and confirm details of their services where required”.

A supplier is expected to be chosen by the end of 2020.

Palantir was drafted in alongside big tech companies including Amazon and Delloitte to bolster the government’s data processing capabilities at the beginning of the pandemic.

The NHS Covid-19 data store aims to use data to monitor the spread of the virus and implement appropriate measures to ensure services and support is available to patients.

The platform brings together multiple NHS and social care data sets into a single location. It includes data such as 111 online and call centre data from NHS Digital, as well as Covid-19 test result data from Public Health England.

Palantir is contracted as a data processor, meaning the company is only permitted to use the data as directed by the NHS.

Palantir’s renewed contract required the company to package up the work it’s been doing so the NHS could go out to tender in an open procurement process for a data platform.

NHS England did not comment on the likelihood of Palantir remaining the data platform provider.

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