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Executive Compass specialises in the completion of high-quality, winning tenders for health and social care providers.

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The health and social care sector is a permanent fixture of the nation’s news cycle and, it seems, is the permanent subject of speculative reform proposals. While there are many reasons for this, principal among them is the external pressure faced by the industry itself. The UK’s population is ageing to an unprecedented degree: the ONS projects that there will be an additional 5.8 million people aged 65 by 2041. More people have long-term conditions than ever before. One in three patients admitted to hospital presents with five or more health conditions, up from one in ten a decade ago. Rates of diabetes, obesity, mental ill-health, and dementia have continued to increase. As such, it is more important than ever to ensure commissioners and providers alike get care provision right. These increasing needs, the changing requirements of commissioners, and the accelerated push for reform require expert knowledge and experience to ensure the health and social care tenders respond to contemporary issues.

Health and Social Care Tenders

We place bidders at the cutting edge of contemporary thinking around health and social care, adding material value to bid submissions by integrating innovative practices into their tender responses. Our bid writers have produced winning tenders for social care services for NHS tenders, all 32 London borough councils, all 27 county councils, and almost every borough or city council in the UK. We have helped newly registered providers access frameworks for the first time and have supported some of the largest care companies and charities in the UK to improve their success rates and develop their services through training, bid writing, and bid management.

Recent examples of the range and level of services we offer include:

  • Support for a large regional care provider to geographically expand into three new areas through the delivery of winning tender submissions. As a result, they opened three new offices, supporting over 400 service users
  • On behalf of a consortium of charities and private sector care providers in Scotland, we delivered a bid to secure every lot of an integrated health and social care contract for a local health and social care partnership – supporting the consortium to achieve city-wide sole-supplier status
  • The submission of a range of successful bids to grant-making organisations on behalf of a small charity to support their transition to online delivery of care and support over the most critical period of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were successful in 100% of the bids we submitted, supporting the charity to increase their client base and central office resource.

Through our experience and research, we have developed in-depth knowledge of the full range of care and support models offered by care providers throughout the UK, to both children and adults. This includes:

  • Domiciliary care, supporting service users of all ages to grow and keep their independence and continue living in their own homes
  • Residential and nursing care
  • Extra care, combining the benefits of a round-the-clock care worker presence with the autonomy that comes with having your own front door
  • Supported living, mostly for adults with learning disabilities
  • Supported accommodation for people with housing-related needs, including young adults
  • Diverse services that contribute to people’s overall health and wellbeing, including drug and alcohol, mental health, smoking cessation, and weight management services.

The Care Act 2014 and Legislative Reform

The health and social care sector has been subject to much change over the past 10 years, which has resulted in a complex ecosystem of legislation, regulation, and best practice: an ecosystem that we help you to navigate and respond to in bid submissions. Care Act 2014The principal piece of legislation governing health and social care services in England is the Care Act 2014, which introduced a greater focus on the wellbeing agenda, emphasising personalisation, enablement, and the achievement of independence for people accessing care. It places a duty on local authorities to provide or arrange services that actively reduce needs for support among people and their carers in the local area and enable increased choice for those accessing care. Ultimately, the Act was introduced to pair the benefits of empowering people to become more autonomous with the alleviation of increasing financial pressures on local authorities.

This is not limited to a single type of care provision; even maintenance care packages come with an expectation that the service user might be empowered to take greater control of managing their own needs, while drug and alcohol services are significantly more focused on sustainable recovery and capacity building rather than meeting immediate needs.

This is compounded by the current push for further reform of health and social care provision. The government’s 2021 white paper on the topic, ‘Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’, explicitly states the case for deeper integration of services to respond to the pressures existent in the sector:

[T]he case couldn’t be clearer for joining up and integrating care around people rather than around institutional silos – care that focuses not just on treating particular conditions, but also on lifestyles, on healthy behaviours, prevention and helping people live more independent lives for longer.

This movement towards a new, more integrated and outcomes-focused way of commissioning services provides opportunities for the private and VCSE sectors to benefit from frameworks and public-sector contracts. For every pound of UK public expenditure, over 28p is spent on health and social care. Local authorities continue to look to the private sector for the provision of social care services, and companies ranging from small, local care agencies to large multinationals can find opportunities to offer packages commissioned by councils and CCGs.

It should be noted that the Care Act does not apply to Scotland. While there are several key pieces of legislation that govern health and social care provision in Scotland (most recently, the Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act 2013, the Public Bodies (Joint working) Act 2014, and the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016), the principles of greater service integration, greater choice for the individual, and greater emphasis on prevention are present across all the home nations.

Topics in Healthcare Bids

While there are a number of legislative and logistical concerns that providers must be aware of if they hope to compete in and complete health and social care tenders (for example, the tendering process itself, the statutory duties incumbent on providers of health and social care, and the local context in which providers hope to deliver services), there are key topics that invariably emerge across all health and social care tenders that commissioning bodies want to see reflected in submissions:

  • Person-centred care – an approach to care and support that should inform the development of a provider’s whole service, from behaviours, skills, and competencies of staff through to company-wide policies and procedures. This ensures that services are needs-led and driven by the preferences of the individual, and affords them dignity and respect
  • Asset-based support – an approach that utilises the strengths of the individual and harnesses the assets of the community to ensure that the person can sustain their independence. This approach is place-based and requires real working knowledge of the community in which a provider might operate. Providers should be comfortable with joint-working practices to ensure the optimal outcomes are achieved under this approach
  • Least restrictive care – a key tenet of safeguarding vulnerable adults, but with wider application across the health and social care sector, this principle ensures that care workers provide people with enough information to make an ‘informed choice’ about their life and care, with risks assessed on the basis that the individual has capacity to make their own decisions (subject to clinical advice). This ensures that rights, dignity, and privacy are upheld throughout care delivery and the autonomy of the service user is respected
  • Enablement and active support – methods to maximise a person’s independence and ensure the care delivered is empowering and offers the right level of support to achieve outcomes. Activities of daily living, both at home and in the community, are approached with a focus on offering ‘just enough’ support at every step, prompting or encouraging rather than ‘doing for’ wherever possible
  • Inclusive communication – recognises that people communicate and express themselves in a variety of ways including speech, BSL, Makaton, and speech-generating devices, amongst others. To ensure inclusion, providers must be able to respond to the specific needs of everyone, including their barriers to communication. More broadly, inclusion means that everyone – irrespective of barriers to participation – has the right and the opportunity to take part in making decisions about the service and how it is run, as well as their own individual care and support.

This broad array of issues, legislation, and methods of care delivery may seem difficult to unpack for organisations bidding for work through NHS tenders or local government, but our expertise and experience enable a definite, seamless, and inclusive approach to writing winning tenders in the sector.

For bid support and tender services within the health and social care industry, and to discuss tender opportunities, contact our team today.

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