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  • We are seeking a supplier to work with us to identify, categorise and compare a range of potential approaches for measuring productivity in health care. 
  • The budget for the project is a maximum of £60,000 (inclusive of VAT and expenses). 
  • The deadline for responses is 12.00 (midday), 3 June 2024. 

NHS productivity is always of critical importance because it determines the level of care that can be delivered with a given level of resourcing. However, the current and anticipated future challenges faced by the NHS in meeting demand have led the Health Foundation to make productivity a research priority.  

The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre (research and economic analysis for the long term) provides independent research and analysis to support better long-term decision making in health and social care. This includes the production of funding and workforce projections, where assumptions about productivity are pivotal. An understanding of what different productivity measures encompass, and eventually an improved metric, will allow for reasoned and transparent decisions about those assumptions.  

Invitation to apply  

As part of our broader programme of work on NHS productivity, we are seeking a supplier to work with us on a project to: 

  • gain a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches to measuring productivity, what types of questions those metrics can be used to address, and how they might be improved 
  • assess the scope for additional metrics or novel approaches to measuring productivity, and what these might be useful for.  

We are particularly interested in potential new methodologies for measuring productivity itself or the drivers of productivity, which complement the existing main metrics from the Office for National Statistics and the University of York. 

We are seeking a partner who will adopt a broad approach to productivity and look beyond measures of health care activity. The work should include examining the ratio between outputs and inputs but should also consider other concepts such as health outcomes, patient experience and system resilience, using methods such as the productivity possibility frontier, cost functions, capital investment (capital deepening), efficiency and any other perspective which gives a sense of how productive the NHS is. 

The work should include both existing methodologies used within health care, potential modifications or enhancements to those approaches, and alternative methods not currently in widespread use in a health care setting.  

How to apply 

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please follow these steps to complete your application:   

  1. Read the Invitation to tender for full details of the tender response requirements and selection criteria.  
  2. If you have any queries about the application process which are not addressed in the Invitation to tender, Guidance for applicants and the Frequently asked questions, please email them to research.mailbox@health.org.uk by 5pm, 15 May 2024.  
  3. You will need to apply via our online portal and complete your application by 12.00 (midday), 3 June 2024. We will not accept applications submitted after this time.  

You will be informed whether your proposal has been shortlisted in the week commencing 17 June 2024. We intend to interview shortlisted bidders during the week commencing 24 June 2024 to explore proposals in more depth.  

We will communicate the final decision during the week commencing 24 June 2024.   

We intend to have an inception meeting with the chosen supplier during the week commencing 1 July 2024. 

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