Social Care Procurement in a Covid 19 world
Social Care has been under the cosh for the last few months. Covid 19 has hit particularly hard in the sector that cares for the most vulnerable in society. With deaths of those in care, and those caring for them, it has been a time of great sadness and loss.
As we see the first tentative steps towards an easing of restrictions and a gradual uptick in the economy, care providers who are looking to perhaps consolidate or grow their business, may be looking to procurement opportunities in social care.
So, what will care providers who have been very busy in the fight against Covid-19, need to know about the procurement process as it stands now? Read our procurement tips for social care providers.
Because we are in a very fluid and rapidly changing situation, be warned that procurement exercises may be cancelled. You may have had an eye on a particular local authority tender for some time, but with Covid 19 in the mix, there’s no guarantee it will ever see the light of day. Equally, it’s possible for procurement processes that have already begun to be held up, modified or cancelled. If you expect the unexpected and prepare to respond quickly and proactively to all eventualities, you will be in a strong position.
Fill your free time constructively
You may find yourself unexpectedly free due to the cancellation of a tendering process. Use the time you set aside for the procurement process to focus on your business strategy. How is your account planning? Who/where is the competition? Analyse the recruitment picture in your local area. Covid 19 has had a seismic impact on the numbers of job seekers looking for a new challenge.
Use any unplanned free time to prepare for when the predicted rebound occurs and public sector contracts are being issued once again. Secure the services of a specialist social care bid writing company like Insequa to optimise your chances of winning the contracts you need. With a current audited win rate of 95.80% and a broad expertise in writing for all types of social care provision, we are the leading tender writers for social care. Even if you don’t have a specific tender you need writing at this moment, give us a call on 0115 896 3999 for an informal chat and we can explain how our services work (with absolutely no obligation).
Easier to extend
Many local authorities will choose to stick with their current provider for the time being, just for an easy life. Beginning a whole new procurement process is expensive and time consuming, so they may prefer to simply extend the current contract in this time of crisis. Care providers should be proactive and get in touch with commissioners to find out what their intentions are regarding contracts due to expire soon – if you are the incumbent you may learn they are planning to extend. Equally, if you are interested in winning the contract when it comes up for renewal, you may learn information to your advantage.
Strict rules apply in public procurement to make sure competition regulations are adhered to, but in exceptional times of crisis there is leeway for government procurement bodies to make direct awards if they are essential to emergency support. For example, if you have identified a significant requirement for your services to help alleviate pressure on care services and you have the immediate expertise and capacity to deliver provision, consider contacting the relevant procurement body to let them know you can help.
We hope these procurement tips for social care were useful. Remember, if you need expert support writing a tender that will impress and win over the commissioners, get in touch. As experts in social care bid writing we have stayed busy during this crisis, continuing to put together bid proposals for care providers, keeping informed and up to date on all changes to criteria, policy and process that the ‘new normal’ brings.
Call 0115 896 3999 for a friendly chat now.