The UK consortium that was unsuccessful in its bid to run the £480 million Federated Data Platform (FDP) for the NHS has told Digital Health they are looking at creating a new strategy for a data solution that is “broader” than the current envisioned proposal for the FDP.

In late February, Voror Health Technologies Ltd told the Financial Times that it had joined forces with database company Eclipse and software provider Black Pear to challenge US data analytics giant Palantir and others for the contract to manage the proposed FDP, a data analytics platform that the NHS has said is meant to track population health, care coordination, elective recovery, vaccines, and supply chains.

In a statement provided late on Friday, the members of the consortium said they intend to look at the most recent published NHS and Department of Health and Care strategies, as well as the current programmes of FDP, Frontline Digitisation and Secure Data Environment, in order to try to forge a new strategy for moving forward together.

“Let’s look at what would be helpful, today, in an ICS to provide real time patient data for Direct Care, Integrated Care Planning, Patient Flow, Population Health, ICS planning, Workforce and Research,” the consortia statement said.

The companies credited the FDP process with bringing them together to look at five elements of the FDP. The statement said: “What it actually did was help us understand what we already bring to the market, how we might do that better as a collaborative and what can we build on top of what we already have that would help ICSs and the country at a strategic and local level, while continuing to invest in the UK, jobs, R&D and knowledge sharing.

“Since the publication of our bid, we have had some very interesting and helpful approaches by large, small, UK and international suppliers that have really opened our minds to thinking how the current consortia may enhance its offering and come to market with something that is broader than the current FDP remit, and that’s where we are.

“We are looking deeply at potential partners, our offering and will look to announce our plans in the summer.”

Criticism of FDP proposed structure

Palantir has long been seen as the leading candidate to win the FDP contract, and a number of data experts, legal and privacy advocates have expressed concern about Palantir’s work with intelligence and security services in the US, as well as about a lack of transparency in the tender process.

In a debate at Digital Health’s Rewired 2023 conference last month, GP and IT consultant Marcus Baw  argued that NHS England has provided little clarity on how the system would be designed to work, or why such a centralised system is even needed.

In its statement, the consortium members said its strategy would represent a different approach from the FDP  “in that there will be public sharing of all APIs, information models and ontologies, with adherence to NHS standards where they exist and proposed approaches where they do not. The effect of this will be a creative commons that will accelerate progress towards the objectives that we all share.”