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Extra care (also called ‘assisted living’ or ‘very sheltered accommodation’) offers individuals, typically older people, access to ongoing care and support, typically via blocks of self-contained flats and shared communal areas

Extra care services may be provided by on-site staff and are tailored to each resident’s specific needs, including personal care, domestic support and assistance with tasks of daily living, and the level of care/support can be increased or decreased depending on the person’s changing requirements.


Our in-house health and social care team complete numerous extra care tenders per year for local authorities across the country, with examples including:

·         Tameside Council

·         Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

·         St Helens Borough Council

·         Cumbria County Council

·         Blackpool Council

·         Knowsley Council

·         London Borough of Brent

·         Wirral Council

·         Lancashire County Council

·         London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

·         Hampshire County Council

·         Leicestershire County Council

·         Surrey County Council

·         London Borough of Tower Hamlets

·         Kirklees Council.

Writing tenders – the key themes of extra care tenders

Questions within extra care tenders often mirror domiciliary care themes, alongside extra-care-specific topics that acknowledge the differences (such as the communal living elements). Leveraging Executive Compass’ 14 years of experience completing extra care submissions, emphasis is placed on:

  • Providing person-centred care that considers each person’s needs, wishes, preferences and aspirations. Some individuals may not require care/support whilst at the scheme (or may do on an ad hoc basis, such as in response to an emergency) whilst others will have an agreed care plan.
  • Delivering outcomes-focussed support, supporting individuals to identify meaningful targets that ultimately enhance their independence adopting an enabling approach (i.e. focusing on what a person can do rather than what they can’t).
  • Safeguarding, ensuring all individuals living within the scheme are protected and staff are trained to identify and act upon indicators of abuse.
  • Staffing and workforce, detailing organisational structures (such as who will be managing the scheme), recruitment, retention, training and development and effective rota management.
  • Arranging activities and wellbeing events for individuals to take part in based on their needs and interests. These could involve having external partners visit the scheme to give talks, such as the local fire service or pharmacists, or fun social activities such as aerobics classes or arts and crafts.



Challenges in extra care tender responses

Reflective of the health and social care sector as a whole, extra care poses challenges to tenderers nationwide, both during the tender process and service delivery. Typical areas include:

  • Recruitment, providing reassurance to the buyer that the service can be effectively resourced for the duration (in response to staffing shortages experienced in the sector). Staff retention is also important, ensuring onboarded staff remain with the service, maximising their health/wellbeing whilst providing continuity and consistency for service users.
  • Experience. Many buyers look for providers who have previous understanding and experience of delivering successful extra care services, causing difficulties for new providers to enter the industry. Strong, well-written and relevant contract examples are essential, either in delivering similar extra care services or in comparable settings.
  • Competitiveness. Extra care schemes are often run by one provider (rather than through a framework or DPS arrangement), which results in multiple bidders competing for the same opportunity, including in some cases an incumbent. A competitive quality and commercial proposal that addresses all the buyer’s requirements, alongside added value, is necessary to ensure a competitive advantage.
  • Conflict. Some extra care schemes may provide accommodation for individuals both in receipt and not in receipt of care and support (alongside individuals who may receive care/support from other agencies). Through the quality responses, buyers may have to communicate how conflict is avoided between individuals in the extra care setting, and how cohesion will be encouraged (e.g. through joint activities).

Bid writing support for extra care tenders

As 40%+ of Executive Compass’ business results from health and social care organisations each month, our tender writers have the extra care knowledge and expertise to present the information needed to address challenges and produce high-quality, competitive responses. Contact our team today to discuss how we can support you.

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