Tendering for Care

TfC's New System for tendering pays off

In June 2013 we received the best result ever from a tendering round. Our customer scored 99/100 for an Adult Social Care & Support tender process using TfC's new tendering system. There was a field of 33 applicants. This was followed by two further scores of a similar level. Later in the year a customer was included in a framework of six from a field of 82 tenders. During 2013, with TfC's help tenderers were awarded contracts with a totla volume of £132m.

This amazing result is the outcome of using TfC's unique approach to tender preparation which is specific to tendering for health and social care contracts. Developed during 2012 with a small group of providers the system has produced a number of wins already during 2013, four in one week alone in late May.

The approach is demanding of the tenderer, one customer described the process as "uncomfortable but necessary if you want to win"; another customer has posted that they received "detailed and sometimes challenging recommendations to improve our tenders I have little doubt that we would not have achieved a recent major contract award without them."

To be successful the approach requires team work involving all those involved in the delivery of the future contract. This is not simply a "bid writing exercise", indeed the the demands of health and social care tenders are now such that use of the traditional external or other specialist bid writer is now largely redundant if a provider is to be successful. Tenders are not now about nice prose and grammatically correct text. Rather techniques must be used which guide and enable the appraisal officer to award points.

The TfC approach to tendering is now so powerful and successful that it is of limited availability; unfortunately not everyone can be a winner, but some spaces are available. TfC always prioritises its Members and because we work to a strict set of standards we operate a strict Conflict of Interest Policy. We were amazed to learn from one purchaser that they had received four similar tenders, all written by the same consultancy firm. They were all excluded!

Providers are welcome to apply to make use of the limited availability of this unique tender preparation support service. An introduction to the approach is available through our "Developing Skills" courses. We operate a strict first come process within the context of CoI for the group of providers who are using our appporach to be confident that they can win contracts consistently.

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