Federated Data Platform update

Agenda item: 7 (public session)
Report by: Ming Tang, Chief Data and Analytics Officer
Paper type: For information
7 December 2023

Organisation objective

  • NHS Mandate by Government
  • NHS Long Term Plan
  • NHS Long Term Workforce Plan
  • Governance

Executive summary

The Federated Data Platform and Associated Services (FDP-AS) contract was awarded to a consortium led by Palantir Technologies which include Accenture, PWC, Carnall Farrar and NECS on 22 November following announcement on 21 November.

The Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) contract was awarded to IQVIA on 22 November following announcement on 21 November.

Plans are well advanced with the suppliers to transition the products from the National Data Platform to the Federated Data Platform (FDP). Plans are also in development for the development of new FDP products from the summer of 2024. 

Action required

The Board is asked to note the information provided in the report.


1. The NHS is made up of multiple organisations that use data every day to manage patient care and plan services. Historically, it has been held in different systems that do not speak to each other, creating burden for staff and delays to patient care. It also makes it difficult to work at scale and share information.

2. Better use of data brings big benefits for patients by ensuring more joined up care, greater choice and improved health outcomes, and ultimately saving lives.

3. Feedback from patients has shown that we need to make it easier for staff to access the information they need, freeing up time to invest in delivering the best care possible for patients and facilitating the rollout of innovations taking place across the healthcare system.

4. The Federated Data Platform will provide software to link these NHS trusts and regional systems and give us a consistent technical means of linking data that is already collected for patient care. Clinicians will easily have access to the information they need to do their job – in one place – freeing up time spent on administrative tasks and enabling them to deliver the most appropriate care for patients. GP data will not be part of the national platform. FDP does not change data controllership arrangements so if there is data sharing agreement between integrated care system (ICS) and GPs locally to share data for care co-ordination then they can use the local version of FDP for that purpose.

5. NHS England leads the FDP programme, working with our regions, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and NHS trusts to take forward implementation.

Procurement update

6. The FDP-AS procurement has concluded following a comprehensive, four stage competitive dialogue procurement process. On 21 November NHSE announced that the e FDP-AS contract was awarded to a consortium led by Palantir Technologies which includes Accenture, PWC, Carnall Farrar and NECS.

7. The PET procurement has also concluded. PET will provide robust protection and deliver a standard approach to support safe data access and use. This is a standalone service that discovers, protects and supports the audit and governance of data uses. The PET contract was awarded to IQVIA on 22 November following announcement on 21 November.

Transition and mobilisation

8. In parallel to the procurement, initial plans were developed to mobilise the FDP once the procurement process was complete. Following contract award, discussions have started with both the FDP-AS Supplier and the PET Supplier to ensure that these plans are jointly owned and finalised.

9. A six-month transition period has begun following contract award focused on supplier mobilisation, platform enablement, and transition from the current platform to the new FDP platform. Within this period, products supported by the National Data Platform will be transitioned to the Federated Data Platform along with enabling PET.

10 .Alongside the core platform enablement there will be key activities across Information Governance, Security, Architecture, Data Engineering and Service Management workstreams to ensure a robust and successful delivery.

11. Following transition, the programme will roll out the already successfully piloted products to new Trusts adopting the platform across England. These existing tools are focussed on priority areas such as care coordination (i.e. theatre scheduling and waiting list validation), virtual wards, and optimising discharge.

12. To support the rollout of the FDP the programme will build on successes of the rollout of the National Data Platform and work with Trusts and the supplier to manage rollout and ensure that demand can be met. We will work with ICBs and Trusts to understand their challenges and to understand how FDP can help.

13. Benefits from the pilot sites are being realised through both the Trust Care Coordination Solution (CCS) and Optimised Patient Tracking & Intelligent Choices Application (OPTICA) pilots. Case studies setting out the benefits realised at participating Trusts can be found on our website.

Communications and engagement

14. NHS England has consulted and engaged widely on the FDP requirements, including with patient and professional representative bodies such as the Royal Colleges, the Patients’ Association (patients-association.org.uk/Blog/taking-patients-with-us-on-the-federated-data-platform) and National Voices. We plan ongoing public engagement throughout the period of the contract consistent with recent public commitments on the use of health data by the NHS (National public engagement on the use of health data – Data saves lives – NHS Transformation Directorate (england.nhs.uk))

15. As part of this engagement, we are setting up a Check and Challenge Group made up of stakeholders like National Voices, the Patients Association and the National Data Guardian to advise the FDP programme and to ensure engagement with patients and clinical voices.

16. An engagement page has also been developed and is live on the NHSE website. The pages provide an opportunity for the public to provide feedback specifically about the FDP which will be used to develop recommendations for the programme.