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Sheffield City Council were commissioning a home care and supported living services framework. The framework was split into two different lots: the provision of home care, and supported living.

Main Challenges

  • High level of competition so we needed to stand out
  • Large framework
  • Lack of experience in bidding from the company’s management team
Bid Details
  • Geographical region: 

    Sheffield

  • Output: 

    10,000 words across an SSQ and method statement responses

  • Weighting: 

    60/40 quality/price

  • Submission: 

    Electronic, portal based

  • Submission: 

    Won, secured a place on the framework

Overview

Sheffield City Council were commissioning a home care and supported living services framework. The framework was split into two different lots: the provision of home care, and supported living.

Services such as these are often put out to tender in the health and social care sector, as many local authorities are seeking to replace traditional residential care services with supported living solutions. Unlike residential care, (in which housing, care and support are provided as one holistic package) supported living and care at home helps people to live more independently, whilst still receiving the level of care and support they need.

A client local to the Sheffield area approached us, requiring tender writing support, including completing a standard selection questionnaire (SSQ) as well as several quality-related method statement responses, totalling around 10,000 words of narrative. They did not have a dedicated internal bid team, and primarily needed support with creating the narrative responses within the method statement section, as well as us supporting through the whole bid process. With our extensive experience writing hundreds of high-quality bids in health and social care since 2009, we were well-placed to support the client with this project.

One of our specialist bid writers in health and social care, Mary Marshall, was assigned to the project, and she conducted two separate telephone interviews with the registered manager. We use carefully crafted interview questions, designed to explore the client’s service delivery model, and the unique benefits their company could bring to the framework. All our bid writers are trained in interview techniques, as well as writing itself, as the information gathering stage is a vital part of our process.

Challenges

One of the key challenges we encountered in the delivery of this project was the sheer level of competition generated by a framework of this size and scope. Due to the high volume of bidders, the responses needed to meet an exceptional standard of quality to make our client stand out against an abundance of other candidates.

This was a challenge we were well-equipped to meet. Over the years, we have produced thousands of winning tenders for almost every borough or city council in the UK. Consequently, we have developed a good understanding of what types of commitments local authorities want to see, and what will score high marks from the evaluators, as well as understanding all nuances of the care sector.

Tender writing support

Working collaboratively with the client, and communicating regularly via telephone and email, Mary gained an overall understanding of the company’s culture and ethos. This enabled us to respond to specific questions posed by the commissioner which related to the ‘key values’ of the organisation and how they embedded these values throughout the company.

Other topics that were covered in the method statement questions included:

  • Trauma informed care
  • Person-centred support
  • Psychologically informed environments
  • Maximising independence.

Our approach is to really get to know the clients that we work with, allowing us to write from the client’s perspective and get across the themes and concepts which are important to them as a company, whilst answering the questions from the particular buyer. By developing a high standard of narrative for the method statement questions, and supporting the client to fill out the compliance-driven questions in the SSQ correctly, the project was submitted ahead of the tender deadline.

A few months later, the client notified us that they had been successfully appointed to the framework. They commented on how pleased they were about this outcome and provided excellent feedback on the quality of our support in securing this result. The framework will provide a great deal of work for the company and is therefore instrumental in their future success.

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