Home Care Tenders are regularly commissioned in all regions across the UK by local authorities. Most of our clients submit tenders for singular or multiple zones. Authorities often release homecare tenders for different zones, in order to ensure tailored, localized services are provided. Our team of bid and tender writers from our Social Care and Healthcare teams, have extensive experience in assisting organisations in preparing and submitting Home Care tenders, Domiciliary Care Tenders, Help to Live at Home Tenders, Respite Tenders and Hospital Discharge Tenders.
How to win Domiciliary and Home Care Contracts
Domiciliary and home care contracts are generally quite competitive with small, medium and large service providers all bidding for local contracts. Best practice bid and tender writing techniques tailored for the health and social care sectors need to be employed to win. The home care and domiciliary care industry is constantly growing. This aligns with the ageing population across the UK as well as a general trend and increase in popularity of at-home care. More of the personal care of the elderly is being outsourced to private organisations across the UK, and there is a dramatic increase in domiciliary care tenders being issued through NHS England.
The introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has impacted the procurement of home care services. Local NHS organisations or Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are now responsible for the procurement and engagement process. This has resulted in serviced being provided on a more local level – and increased opportunities for our small and medium sized clients.
With frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) in place, social care teams are more often than not only able to refer providers who are on these frameworks or PDSs. As a results, successfully submitting a PQQ and ITT is critical to grow your business, even if you are referred work. A successful bid for a framework or DPS can lead to a substantial income stream over the long term.
In addition to the more common care tenders, there are also one-off tenders for reablement support services, NHS funded continuing healthcare services and a range of other community based services. The procurement teams and key buyers in the UK NHS have their own drivers and priorities which need to be addressed when submitting a bid. A focus on person centred support (which is something that is focused on for all UK healthcare bids, as well as the specific methods and processes you will employ when carrying out care services are critical to winning the bid. You need to address the issues and concerns of the buyer (which will be reflected in the questions) and provide a comprehensive response that outlined your capabilities.
The process for writing winning Domiciliary and Homecare tenders
Step 1: The first step in the process is to write and submit a SQ or PQQ for domiciliary or home care services. This is generally a compliance based process where you confirm you have the appropriate supporting documentation, provide a brief profile of your company, and finally, you provide some brief information on your personnel. You need to highlight your key capabilities concisely and demonstrate you have the appropriate resources, skills and personnel to deliver on the bid. You will also need to provide your CQC registration number where applicable (and you generally need a ‘good’ rating).
Step 2: Once you have passed the PQQ or SQ stage, you are generally required to bid for the services via an ITT (Invitation to Tender). This is where you will need to provide a comprehensive tender response or bid, that covers all the key areas such as your approach to service delivery, how your service will remain client-centred over the long term, how you will efficiently deliver the services and how you will manage the back end and administrative requirements of the contract. You also need to detail and evidence your skills and expertise.
Our experience helping clients write winning domiciliary and home care contracts
Our experienced, specialist healthcare writers have helped many home care and domiciliary care providers write winning bids and tenders and secure appointment to frameworks and DPS. We have written bids to most local authorities across the UK including cities and councils in England, Scotland and Wales. We have team members across the UK including in Edinburgh, London, Birmingham and other cities.
Case Study: Essex County Council
We helped a provider who had a strong local presence gain a place on the Live at Home Framework. The provider had strong know-how and knowledge, but was lacking in terms of supporting documentation and policies and procedures. We worked with the provider to develop the necessary supporting documentation and ensure they aligned with all regulatory requirements.
Case Study – Extra Care
Our team of writers have helped a number of providers to write submissions to provide care services under extra care housing schemes and through homecare agencies in all parts of the UK. We wrote a number of successful bids for a large company in London who then expanded their geographic presence across the UK.
Key win themes to focus on to win home and domiciliary care tenders
In order to write a successful home care or domiciliary care bid you need to focus on a number of key win themes. These win themes need to be integrated throughout your response – so that the commissioner understands that you have the right focus, processes and procedures and internal culture to deliver the outcomes led service they are looking for.
Win themes which need to be integrated into your response generally include:
- Your focus the people you care for. Your systems, processes and culture need to be person-centric. I.e. you need you have systems in place as well as methodologies that put the people you care for front of mind and ensure your services are tailored to the individual needs of each user.
- Focus on the outcomes your service will deliver. When reviewing the bids, the commissioner will want to know what outcomes you propose to deliver. These need to be clearly defined. In addition, they will want to know that you have a detailed plan of how to deliver those outcomes. You need to talk about what care methodologies you will employ, as well as you propose to deploy your human resources to deliver them.
- Providing choice. This is absolutely critical in the commissioners eyes and consistent with the values of the NHS England. You need to put forward a plan that will give users choice and dignity. This means providing them with flexibility in terms of service offerings and the ability to choose the services they require. Providing a plug and play solution gives users the capability to choose the services they require and maintain their dignity through the use of your services.
- User Safety. This is also critical in the sense that you need to safeguard and protect users from avoidable harm. You need to merge this requirement with your focus on providing choice and independence to users. Key pieces of legislation relevant to user safety is the The Care Act 2014 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Strategies to win home care and domiciliary care tenders
In order to be successful in winning frameworks and contracts you need to:
- Detail the human resources you have in place. Talk about each of your staff including their qualifications, training, any training programs and their experience. Show that your carers understand, live and breathe your win themes and company culture. Talk about any career development plans you have for them as well as any particular characteristics and values they may have (hard working, caring etc).
- Ensure you have an outstanding or good CQC rating. This is critical and in fact a good rating is almost a pre-requisite for many home care tenders. We would describe your CQC rating as a dealbreaker from a tendering and business growth perspective. When applying for your CQC registration, or even once it is attained, you need to cover and integrate the following key themes into your practice, organisation and bid. Safety – including any governance procedures you may have; Effective: achieving outcomes that are tangible; Caring: treating all staff and people with care, respect and dignity; Responsive: demonstrating that you have the processes in place to deliver a responsive service; and leadership – including both cultural and procedural leadership.
- Gather referees and case studies and submit these in your response. Most of the time, our clients have great feedback from clients – however they forget to formally record these. Then we are putting together the bid, they have to go through hundreds of emails to find a thank you email or positive feedback from a user or stakeholder. It is important to gather all relevant feedback as you operate, and then use these references and testimonials in your bid.
- Make sure you have a physical presence. This is often a requirement for bids and tenders. You may need to have a physical footprint in the authority’s administrative region.
The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in writing winning home care and domiciliary care bids
Social value is a critical component of all tender and bids in the UK and NHS tenders and home care tenders re no different. There is a strong focus on all bids on community. I.e. you need to show that by awarding you the contract, the downstream economic benefits of your bid will flow through to the local community in which you will operate. You need to show how, if awarded the contract, you will benefit the local community through a multi-pronged approach through:
- Social: This could mean supporting local charities, community centres and local government initiatives. You can do this by encouraging your staff to support these initiatives and by showing how the company and leadership support them. You also need to show that they are linked to your local community as well as the types of services you will provide (where possible)
- Environmental: You need to show that you have concrete steps and procedures in place to ensure you reduce your carbon footprint.
- Economic: You need to demonstrate that your expenses and overall expenditure from suppliers is and will be directed to the local community and local community suppliers. Providing training and employment opportunities to local stakeholders is also important.
Writing Wining Home Care Tenders
With local authorities generally responsible for addressing the needs of the community that require assistance, it is important that you when writing a home care tender, you convince the reader that you have the capability and capacity to assist at a localized level.
In order to be appointed as a prime lead provider, you generally need to be registered with:
As part of the bid / no bid process, you need to ensure you have the appropriate policies and procedures, and ensure hold the minimum CQC rating outlined in the tender. There is a strong focus on providing the service locally and having a strong local presence. Therefore, if you do not have an office in the local area, you need to consider the possibility of establishing an office if successful, and potentially committing to this as part of your submission.
Talk to our team of bid writers today about how we can assist with your next home care tender. Our writing consultants will assist you in compiling a compliant, compelling and detailed response to help you succeed.