Health and social care, in all its guises, represents a significant proportion of our business, and we have worked with a variety of providers for contracts such as provision of domiciliary care.
Type of Project
Bid management and bid writing
Remote working (100%), with one site visit
Duration of the bid
Value to the client
A large number of questions
Strict word limits for most questions, in complex subject areas
The large amount of policies and procedures required to support each question
The introduction of a business plan
- Geographical region – UK
- Output – 30,000 words of narrative response, and policies and procedures
- Weighting – 60%/40% quality/price
- Submission – Electronic upload
- Outcome – Won
Health and social care, in all its guises, represents a significant proportion of our business, and we have worked with a variety of providers. There are many contract opportunities for this industry. Some of our clients are family run businesses specialising in a particular element, such as paediatrics or learning difficulties, whilst others offer a broad range of services which can include: domiciliary care, end of life care, day and night care, specialist dementia care, domestic services and live-in carers. We have completed bids for these types of services into many local authorities across the UK.
This case study focuses upon a medium sized domiciliary care provider who wished to submit a tender for a domiciliary care tender. As ever, the emphasis was on personalisation, outcome-based planning and re-ablement. These are key points to address in all submissions and we worked with the client from the first day of the project to ensure that all responses were as strong and evidence-driven as possible.
This project was delivered by Matthew Walker with one visit to site and all writing delivered remotely. We provided a wide range of services to the client, namely: bid management, design functional analysis and bid writing services. In addition, we assisted in writing the business plan which had to be included in the quality submission. This ensured that the client
received comprehensive support throughout the tender process.
The tender contained a large number of questions, most having a 600 word limit. This made the drafting of responses difficult as fitting a large amount of information into a word limit whilst making it both readable and relevant can be a struggle. In domiciliary care this is especially challenging as this is a service which can be complex given the wide range of legislation, regulation and best practice guidance in place. As a result, we work closely with clients to ensure that we obtain all relevant supporting information so that it can be fitted into any page, word and character limits.
In this case, we decided to deconstruct each question down to its constituent parts and then assign a specific word limit to each sub-section. An example question is provided below:
‘Please describe how your organisation will deliver outcome based approaches to increase independence, encourage the development of daily living skills and decrease reliance upon paid support over time.’
By dividing our answer into three parts, we ensured there was equal focus on each element of the question; that we answered each part of the question and that it was clear to the evaluator that we had considered each response very carefully. As a result of this approach we were able to make the whole submission as strong as possible by answering the questions fully, and supporting our answers with relevant evidence.
The two main challenges for this tender writing project were not the actual writing of the quality section, although this did present some challenges, but rather the large number of policies required and the detailed responses for some scenarios which had to be provided along with the quality submission. There was also a business plan which had to follow a predetermined template. We issued relevant templates to the client, each with a breakdown of the required information and prompts, ensuring that case studies, examples and the business plan were as strong as possible.
As part of the tender a large number of policies and procedures were required. The requested policies included the usual suspects: Safeguarding, Whistleblowing and Equal Opportunities, but also some that are not always seen in domiciliary care tenders. For example, the authority requested an Anti-Bribery Policy and a Corporate Governance Policy as well as an Ethical Procurement Policy. We never assume that each PQQ or ITT is the same as the previous one, and ensure that we fully check all policies fulfil the questions asked.
Our client had nearly all of these policies in place, but we researched and wrote the missing items and made them match the client’s existing suite of policies in both tone and layout. This standardisation made the bid appear more professional, helping to impress the assessor and add weight to the narrative responses. Too often, companies create policies that appear to have been written only for the intention of tendering. Worse still, some scour the internet and copy and paste one that they believe fits. This rarely works, as evaluators nearly always identify them and mark the submission down. We were keen to stress this to the client, working closely with them to avoid complacency.
Too often, bidders fall down on this issue – as part of our quality assurance processes and proactive bid management style we work with clients to avoid such issues and instil long term positive bid and tendering attitudes and approaches from day one. By working with the client we were able to help them win the bid, helping them grow and develop to secure more domiciliary care tenders in future.