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Care at home services – commonly also called domiciliary care or homecare – represent a significant proportion of the health and social care tenders issued by local authorities and partnerships across the UK.

Due to factors such as an ageing population and an increased desire to support people to continue living in the community rather than moving into residential or nursing care settings, bids for care at home services are common. Providers looking to offer these services via referrals from social care teams will ordinarily need to be on the relevant framework or dynamic purchasing system (DPS), meaning that a successful tender strategy can be essential for care at home providers to grow their business.

Alongside ‘standard’ care at home services, providers might also bid to provide time-intensive reablement support, services within extra care settings, NHS-funded and commissioned continuing healthcare services and various other models of community-based care and support.

Care at home experience

With a dedicated team of health and social care bid writers, Executive Compass is perfectly placed to write winning care at home tenders. We estimate that we have supported providers to bid successfully for homecare contracts, frameworks or DPSs in almost every local authority area in the UK, including every county council and city council in England, Scotland and Wales. Key successes include:

  • Pan-London AQP for domiciliary care – a high-profile and competitive framework; we supported numerous bidders to gain places and subsequently grow their businesses through home care, discharge to access and NHS continuing health care referrals
  • Essex County Council – numerous providers supported to gain places on the Live at Home framework
  • Leicestershire County Council – a large and complex bid, resulting in award of a place on the highly competitive framework
  • West Sussex County Council – a successful submission for the WSCC Care at Home framework, with highly positive evaluation feedback and scoring
  • Aberdeen City Council – supporting a complex consortium of private-sector and third-sector bidders to secure sole supplier status across the entire city of Aberdeen
  • Glasgow City Council – supporting providers to achieve places on the prestigious Care at Home framework, including securing a rank of 1 or 2 for providers’ chosen categories and service user groups
  • Extra care – countless winning submissions for the provision of care and support in extra care housing schemes throughout the UK, including services in the North West, the Midlands and London.

Further contracts we have secured for our clients can be found here.

Key focus areas

Care at home is a rapidly developing service and, to support our clients to continue to produce competitive, persuasive and high-scoring submissions, we remain at the cutting edge of developments in the sector. Over the years, we have supported our clients as commissioners’ focus moves away from time-and-task approaches and towards a greater emphasis on outcomes-led thinking and working, person-centricity, empowerment and joined-up working in communities.

Whilst our particular approach on each occasion is fully tailored to the unique priorities of the commissioner and the strengths, assets and models employed by the provider, common themes include:

  • Person-centred practice – beginning with person-centred planning but then moving into how those plans are converted into delivery, we emphasise methodologies and approaches that ensure each service user’s individuality is recognised and that their care and support is right for them
  • Outcomes-focused working – commissioners expect high levels of detail, clearly outlining how meaningful outcomes will be collaboratively defined and how, in practice, providers will provide care in an enabling way such that outcomes are achieved
  • Choice, dignity and control – working with people in an empowering way that recognises their autonomy
  • Safeguarding – balancing the tenets of empowerment and enablement with the duty to safeguard and protect people from avoidable harm.

Challenges in the industry

The sector faces national challenges, and these often translate into challenging criteria within the tender process. We work together with bidders to create solution-focused responses, covering topics such as:

  • Recruitment – providing commissioners with the required reassurance that services can be effectively resourced, creatively overcoming sector-wide recruitment challenges
  • Partnership working – with an increased focus on prevention-based approaches, we work with bidders to propose community-focused services which align with the prevent, reduce, delay model laid out in the Care Act 2014 in England, and similar guidelines and legislation across the rest of the UK
  • Social value/community benefits – criteria relating to social value are becoming increasingly prevalent, and are also carrying increasingly high weightings. Thanks to support from our dedicated division, The Social Value Practice, we can provide tailored guidance and support, specifically for bidders in the health and social care sector, when responding to social value criteria.

The changing landscape of health and social care means that bidders need to remain continually aware of the latest challenges, as well as the latest opportunities. As much as 40% of Executive Compass’s work comes from health and social care tenders in a typical month, meaning that we have the requisite knowledge, experience and capability to guide you every step of the way.

 

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