Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

06th January 2021

Do you have any tips on completing the tendering process?

I am starting my supported living home and I am having difficulty with the tendering process. Could I please have some advice regarding this?

Thank you for your question. Tendering is such a large and complex area and without knowing what the area of difficulty is, I cannot give specific advice. However, when you start any tendering exercise particularly when starting a new service, it is important to gather all the information about your own business first. How you run your service, how you recruit staff, how you manage health and safety, how you manage to invoice are examples. It is important to think about the location of your services too, where do you intend to operate from, who are your local authorities, who are your competitors, what do they pay, how long have they been operating in the area. Next look at the type of contracts the Local Authority have. Do they commission using a framework agreement? Do they commission spot contracts and is this done from a preferred provider list? Do they commission via a block contract i.e., a provider is commissioned to provide a set number of contracted hours or the number of beds or places depending on the type of service? Once you know this, you need to read all the contract specifications very carefully. Write down all the areas you need to comply with, look at your service – can you deliver what they ask for and at the level they ask for? Do you have the right policies and procedures in place (health and safety, safeguarding and infection control as well as quality are the main areas to think about)? From a commissioner perspective, they will want to know that you are going to be a safe pair of hands, that you are going to provide high quality, consistent care and meet your regulatory and contractual obligations. Of course you also need to consider whether the supported living service you intend to provide needs to be registered with the CQC.I hope this helps.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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