Falling under the health and social care sector, the contract was a new service proposed by the authority, seeking targeted support for health and wellbeing to LGBTQIA+ individuals. The tendered service was organised around three key outcomes:
- Provision of a range of creative, safe and effective interventions and opportunities to reduce social isolation, loneliness and inactivity
- Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing support for members of the LGBTQIA+ community experiencing anxiety, stress, depression and/or other mental health struggles
- Development and delivery of LGBTQIA+ awareness training for partner organisations within the authority’s administrative boundaries.
Although the client had previous experience in providing support as part of a wider package of domestic abuse and substance abuse services, they were tendering for an LGBTQIA+-specific opportunity for the first time. Thanks to their experience on other contracts, they were well-placed to propose any innovations or alterations in delivering this new service.
In supporting clients with over 2,000 SQ and ITT submissions within the industry, our team of writers and reviewers have extensive experience in producing winning health and social care tenders. However, all tenders vary depending on the size, scope and services offered. Consequently, challenges specific to this opportunity included:
- A tender evaluated entirely on the quality aspect on the submission as opposed to a more typical split between quality and price
- Highly restrictive limits of 350 words for each question, requiring concise and targeted responses which comprehensively answered the question and successfully outlined the proposed benefits offered by the client
- Four additional clarification questions around proposed support and activities for populations identified as at-risk, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are also asylum seekers, children aged 13–17 and neurodiverse.
8,400 words across 24 questions, and 2,000 words addressing four supplementary questions
100% quality / 0% price
Electronic and portal-based
In order to complete the tender, we provided 8,400 words of evidence-based narrative questions across 24 questions set by the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board. As part of our in-house health and social care division, Georgia Downey was allocated as the project lead, with Rachel Wright assigned as support writer to achieve the client’s required timescales of one working week.
As a health and social care provider, our client’s expertise lies in the provision of support service for mental health, substance abuse and victims of domestic violence, and were keen to tender for this new opportunity in order to diversify the services they offer. Due to experience gained on other contracts, they had significant experience in delivering LGBTQIA+-centred support, and had also designed and coordinated a collaborative support network with other charities in the Greater Glasgow area. During a client interview led by Georgia, representatives were able to effectively leverage this experience by linking how previous initiatives would be beneficial in the current opportunity, providing valuable evidence of their suitability.
Following the call and supplementary information, Rachel and Georgia began drafting persuasive and evidence-based responses. Question topics included the following:
- Previous experience working with the LGBTQIA+ community in addition to demonstrating understanding of inequalities and how to help mitigate them
- How interventions and activities would support populations identified as most in need
- The proposed delivery model of the service and activities, including an expected split of in-person and virtual activities and when, where and what frequency services would take place
- Evidencing a communications plan to ensure sufficient awareness and publication of services and engage subgroups in greatest need
- Outlining a quality control plan detailing how our client would monitor and report progress and performance against targets, and corrective actions to remedy poor performance.
Based on the information gathered during the client interview, Georgia and Rachel broke down each question into constituent parts and provided specific examples within responses. Concrete examples avoided producing responses which were overly generic, while also aiding in enhancing the overall persuasiveness of the bid. For example, when describing benefits for proposed services, details of a plan to provide LGBTQIA+ awareness training were included.
Responses were then reviewed by our Technical Director Matthew Walker, who made suggestions for enhancements and improvements to maximise our client’s chances of success. Following this, responses were returned to the client one week in advance of the deadline, giving sufficient time for any further changes or amendments.
In a rather unusual approach, the tender evaluators released four additional clarification questions to select tenderers, allowing our client to further demonstrate their ability to deliver the proposed services. This also involved detailing proposed activities for subgroups identified as at-risk without isolating service users from larger social events. Following the same process, Georgia scheduled a second call to ensure sufficient capture of all information and promptly drafted the required responses, adding persuasive and targeted evidence to support our client in the next stage of the tender process.
As of May 2023, the client has yet to receive the final outcome from the NHS board, with an anticipated award date of June 2023. They were delighted with both the service, responsiveness and overall quality provided by Georgia and Rachel, particularly for completing the required supplementary questions within two working days of the call. Furthermore, our client stated they were keen to continue our working partnership, and we would continue to be their first point of contact for supporting future bid and tender opportunities.