NHS England has advertised a procurement contract worth up to £35 million to create a new NHS privacy enhancing technology (NHS-PET), as part of its planned Federated Data Platform (FDP) programme. 

The announcement said NHS-PET would be designed to “provide robust protection and deliver a standard approach to support safe data use including data privacy treatment and ensuring appropriate data access.” 

NHSE was unable to immediately comment on the announcement.

Although the proposed new system would initially be deployed for the FDP, the announcement said it will be a standalone service that potentially includes cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to provide data privacy and protection to FDP, and to the wider NHS.  

NHS-PET will be used across NHSE in conjunction with various data platforms. The announcement added: “Connectivity between NHS enterprise data platforms is extremely important as it will enable rapid scaling and sharing of tools and applications that have been developed at a local level, in a secure way, supporting levelling up and reducing variation across England.” 

Bidders for the contract will be required to ensure that their solution is designed according to open standards to support integration and scaling requirements.  

NHS-PET will be a distinct service that is a required part of the overall NHS data protection ecosystem and FDP capability for sharing data safely and securely.  

The initial NHS-PET contract will be for three years, with the winning operator having an additional option to extend it by up to four additional years with a total estimated value of up to £35 million over the contract period. The actual contract value will depend on the extent of the use of the service, the tender announcement said. The deadline for bids is July 26.

Earlier this month, NHSE awarded a 12-month contract worth £25 million to US data analytics giant Palantir to “transition” its current projects with the health service to the FDP. Palantir is widely seen to be the leading bidding to run the FDP, for which a £480 million contract is expected to be awarded in the coming months.