Winning NHS Dental Tenders in the UK
Tsaks Consulting are a team of professional NHS dental tender writers in the UK. We have won dental contracts in a variety of dental services, including general dental services, endodontics, and minor oral surgery.
One of the main priorities for the NHS in England and the rest of the UK is improving access for clients. This affects their approach when commissioning dental tenders because a requirement of easy access for patients includes low-cost services while maintaining quality improvement. These lower cost, higher quality requirements create changes in the skills mix needed for clinicians and staff, and an improvement of referral pathways. As a result, bidding for dental tenders has grown in complexity, and it is not enough to just demonstrate you provide safe and adequate dental services.
Tsaks Consulting specialises in NHS dental tenders and can help you fulfil the requirements of the NHS. We help dentists across the UK find NHS dental contracts for tender as well as NHS orthodontic tenders as well as write and submit bids for dental service tenders. Our team of writers are experience in NHS bid writing and can also support you in creating supporting documentation for bids associated with health and safety.
The types of dental tenders our expert bid writing consultants can assist with
Primary Care Dental Services:
We have helped dentists across the UK bid for primary care dental services NHS contracts. These contracts typically involve tenders for the provision of routine dental treatments. More often than not, these contracts are issued by NHS England’s local area teams or Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Our team have written tenders across different geographic areas across the UK from London to Nottingham and in regional areas. We with work with you to localise your bid to reassure the reader that you are best placed to service the requirements of the bid.
Specialist Dental Services:
We have helped a broad variety of dental specialising in orthodontics, oral surgery and restorative dentistry with bidding for and winning NHS contracts. As these bids are generally more specific and specialised than general dentistry contacts, you need to ensure you go into detail in demonstrating your specific expertise and detailing the extent of your experience. Qualifications and a commitment to continuous learning are also important to integrate into your bid response. Most of these tenders are issued by NHS England or NHS trusts that have a specific need in their region which they are looking to address. They are generally highly targeted and therefore a thorough bid / no bid process is required to ensure you have strong prospects of success.
Community Dental Services:
These tenders are often issued as NHS contracts as well as through contracts in collaboration with community groups and charities. Generally speaking, they require a more tailored and empathetic bid that is focused on service delivery and methodology. Community dental services tenders often involve working with children, people with disabilities or other vulnerable populations of society. They often involve travelling to residential care services, schools and other community facilities. When we have written bids and tenders for community dental services, we have generally focused as much on service delivery, how you will deliver and implement the service, how you will tailor the service to the individual groups, as much as we have talked about the technical dentistry work. We generally find this approach works well for our clients.
Dental Laboratory Services:
The NHS and private healthcare providers both issue bids, PQQs, RFPs and contracts for dental laboratory services. These usually involve fabricating dental prosthetics such as crowns and dentures. Most of the time these are on prescription from dentists. When our writing consultants help with these tenders, we generally focus on compliance with regulatory standards (including providing the correct supporting documentation) as well as response times and quality standards.
Mandatory Competitive Pricing
In the UK, there is Mandatory competitive pricing regulated by the British Dental Association’s Units of Dental Activity (UDA). With this in place, small and medium sized dental practices have to write compelling, concise and detailed bids to win – as a strategy of reducing pricing to win bids is not possible (and we generally don’t recommend it anyway).
Within dental services, there are many sub-service sectors that cover the broad range of dental services. These inclu de:
General Dental Services (GDS) contracts:
- Tooth cleaning, tooth extraction, wisdom tooth extraction and children’s dentistry.
All of these procedures are health critical and generally covered by the NHS.
Personal Dental Services (PDS) contracts:
These are generally highly specialised services and areas and include Sedation, domiciliary, urgent treatment, advanced mandatory services and other services. Our clients love it when we get them appointed to PDS contracts as they typically last for three to five years and offer a stable pipeline of work.
Where can I find dental tender opportunities?
Speak to our team about our dental and orthodontic tender notification service. We filter through tender and NHS contract opportunities and send suitable opportunities directly to our clients.
The difference between direct and framework contracts
Dentistry bids are usually either direct awards or frameworks. Where these is a direct award dentistry contract, they award the contract to one buyer. Sometimes these are divided into individual lots, and each lot is awarded to a different buyer. Where there is a framework contract – it is different. They appoint a number of suppliers onto a list of approved providers. This normally results in having multiple suppliers awarded for five-year contracts (sometimes extendable).
Once you are on a framework, you don’t need to resubmit a PQQ, however, you get the opportunity to submit ITTs (Invitation To Tender) for a number of smaller contract. The benefit is that you are shortlisted and you only compete against a number of other suppliers.
What are the benefits of bidding for public sector contracts for my dental practice?
Our clients love the idea of winning public sector contracts because they are almost guaranteed to be paid and the bad debt risk is minimal. Also – it provides them income certainty since many contracts are over the long term, and they can make better and more long-term hiring decisions.
There is generally more regulation with public sector contracts and therefore there is more reporting and other requirements which can make administering the contract a bit more challenging.
Our SME clients also benefit from the government’s Prompt Payment Policy which ensures they will be paid within 30 days (and more often than not within five days). Given that the majority of adults in the UK use the NHS for dentistry, and that the public / NHS sector represents a significant percentage of total expenditure on dentistry across the UK.
How to decide whether or not to bid for a dental service contract
A thorough bid / no bid analysis to understand if it is in fact worth bidding for a dental services contract is critical. As once you start to write a bid, you will generally realise there is a lot of work involved. It’s important to tender for opportunities that you actually have a change of wining.
Some questions you should ask prior to deciding to bid include:
- Do we comply with all the mandatory requirements?
- Are we located in the right area and do we have suitable premises?
- Are we able to provide the references and case studies required in the bid?
- Do we have the appropriate experience and qualifications?
How to win a NHS Dental Tender
Now that you know the motivations and ambitions of the NHS, now it is your turn to showcase your competence to deliver the services that will have the outcomes desired by the National Health Service in the UK. Since the main objective of the NHS is improving access to quality dental services, you must ensure that your tender proves your capabilities to provide the services that deliver first class quality while improving patient results and value. Tsaks Consulting can help you demonstrate that your dental clinic matches the values and goals of the NHS.
Strategies we employ to help you win
Demonstrating Clinical Excellence:
When writing any dental or medical bid, you much succinctly highlight your clinical expertise, qualifications and experience. This also applies to all types of dental tenders. Where you have specialist accreditations, certifications or awards regarding your commitment to excellence, good practice management, patient care and any other aspects of your service, these need to be included as evidence in your bid. The procurement teams generally have subject matter experts on their panels that understand the importance of outcomes, patient satisfaction rates and regulatory compliance, and you need provide evidence, facts and figures to convince them of the merits of your bid.
Demonstrate that you are a thought leader with respect to innovation and technology:
The dentistry industry is constantly evolving. When awarding contracts, the NHS will want to award the contract to an innovative forward thinking dental services provider where possible. You need to showcase your investment in innovative dental technologies, equipment, and treatment modalities and how they enhance patient care and operational efficiency. Put forward a plan of how you regularly review the market for new equipment and systems such as digital imaging systems, CAD/CAM technologies and show how these innovations will drive positive client outcomes.
Make sure you are laser focused on delivering Patient-Centered Care:
For any dental tender, and health industry tender for that matter, you need to focus on patient-centered care. It’s important to be practical in this approach and demonstrate your commitment to patient centered care. For example, you can talk about providing personalised treatment plans, preventive care and ongoing care. In addition, it’s important to focus on continuous improvement and demonstrate that you have feedback mechanisms in place to resolve any complaints and update and enhance your processes to address any issues that may arise from a patient perspective.
Location is very important when submitting dental tenders. There is a strong focus on being local, providing the services locally, and ensuring that the benefits of the contract flow through to the local community. That is why the NHS separates many contracts into different lots.
You need to write a bid that is tailored to the individual region. Research and talk about the challenges the local region faces, and how you will address these issues. Talk about the additional social value you will provide to the local community. Accessibility is also very important. You need to ensure there is disabled parking for patients, that there is public transport nearby, and that patients can easily access your patients and care. If there are any initial costs for servicing the contract, you also need to provide proof of funds to demonstrate that you are able to deliver on the needs of the contract.
Finally, make sure that you have a mobilisation plan that works on a local level. I.e. you need to show that you can transfer the patients into your care including their details and other confidential data. The key point to win, is show that you have thought through the requirements of the NHS contract and you have a plan to deliver on all the requirements. You will need to show that you know the local area, the specific dental needs of the local area, and the understanding of the challenges in the local area.
Other key areas you need to cover:
- Patient centricity
Considering the NHS is focused on patient outcomes and affordability, it is your goal to demonstrate aligning values, proving that patients are the number one concern of your practice.
- Competent staff
Provide details of your qualifications, trained and qualified staff, and a recruitment policy that aligns with the NHS recruitment guidelines. The evaluators will be assessing your ability to provide services with competent staff and the correct level of training.
- Quality assurance guaranteed
Demonstrate your commitment of quality dental services to your patients by showing your continued adherence to clinical audits, regulatory standards, health and safety, risk management, and all QA/QM measures your dental clinic implements.
- Ability to provide what you say
Through your mobilisation plan, you will need to exhibit that your services will be ready, functioning, and efficient from the first day. All risks have been considered and mitigated, and existing patients have been taken care of throughout the process.
- Policies and procedures
You must prove the strength of your policies, ensuring they are updated and regularly reviewed. Your clinic will go through changes, provide details on the education and training of staff in light these changes. Detail your business continuity plan, making sure it is specific, detailed, and tested.
- Prove your competence
Finally, prove your dental practice has the experience to win NHS dental tenders in the UK. Provide evidence of your previous history supplying dental services, backed up by statistics and testimonials.
Getting assistance with your NHS dental tender
Tsaks Consulting has a fantastic track record in winning NHS dental tenders in the UK. Our knowledge of NHS UK dental tender requirements, combined with our knowledge of dental services, gives you a winning advantage when it comes to securing NHS dental service contracts.