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How to make Healthcare Bids and Tenders



Where to start?

Whether you provide domiciliary care or dentistry, understanding the commissioning authority’s objectives to procuring any product or service is critical to winning a contract with them. You need a deep understanding of what type and level of care is required. You may have to read through long healthcare tender listings and several specifications to find one that is relevant to your business and appropriate to the level of care experience you have.

Sometimes there are different levels of care requirements grouped together; vulnerable children and adults, complex care, mental health care. You need to be clear before you start as to whether you can meet these requirements.

Tendering for an NHS contract

If you are bidding for an NHS tender, the service you are offering will need to be:


  • Aligned with the priorities of NHS England

  • Aimed at improving value, productivity and efficiency


  • Patient-centred and outcome based

  • Fair and consistent


Similarly, if you are tendering for a contract with a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or Local Authority, failure of the product or service is likely to have some impact on patients or service users. Consequently, healthcare tenders and social care tenders are rigorous and exacting in their requirements.

TENDER TOP TIPS

Steps to successfully bidding for healthcare and social care tenders

1. Check how the tender is structured

Check how the tender is structured. Is it split into different lots for the different types of care, or is it grouped together? If the latter, be sure you can service all of the requirements.

2. Read the tender documents

Read the tender documents carefully before you start to make sure you understand what the tenderer really wants. These can be complicated but you need to able to demonstrate you can meet all the requirements or you will not be considered. You will need to evidence how you have successfully provided the service before.

3. Be risk-averse

Health and social care authorities are risk-averse, so you need to provide the assurances that your service is robust, patient centred, and will not negatively affect quality of care. What management information systems do you have in place to ensure that the care is provided correctly and the patient is not at risk?

4. Policies and procedures

Consider how strong and up-to-date your care-specific policies and procedures are? How good is your Safeguarding policy? Do you undertake safeguarding training? How will concerns be reported and corrected? Consider strengthening these if you need to, so you are ready to tender.

5. Staff recruitment and retention

Having sufficient, correctly qualified and trained care staff is always an issue. So what are your staff recruitment and retention procedures? Do you have an efficient system to recruit on demand? How robust are your compliance checks? What is your training and CPD programme to ensure adequate skills? Can you provide certificates, examples and policies to provide the evidence the healthcare tender requires? If not, start collating these.

6. Read the tender questions carefully

Make sure you read the tender questions carefully. If you are unsure of how to respond, use the official procurement portal to query the commissioning authority.

7. Provide evidence

Any great tender response will provide evidence. To provide the assurance the authority needs, use case histories and testimonials with any facts, names, dates, results and previous outcomes.

Where to start?

Whether you provide domiciliary care or dentistry, understanding the commissioning authority’s objectives to procure


any product or service is critical to winning a contract with them. You need a deep understanding of what type and level of care is required. You may have to read through long healthcare tender listings and several specifications to find one that is relevant to your business and appropriate to the level of care experience you have.

Sometimes there are different levels of care requirements grouped together; vulnerable children and adults, complex care, mental health care. You need to be clear before you start as to whether you can meet these requirements.

Tendering for an NHS contract

If you are bidding for an NHS tender, the service you are offering will need to be:


  • Aligned with the priorities of NHS England

  • Aimed at improving value, productivity and efficiency

  • Patient-centred and outcome based

  • Fair and consistent


Similarly, if you are tendering for a contract with a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or Local Authority, failure of the product or service is likely to have some impact on patients or service users. Consequently, healthcare tenders and social care tenders are rigorous and exacting in their requirements.

TENDER TOP TIPS

Steps to successfully bidding for healthcare and social care tenders

1. Check how the tender is structured

Check how the tender is structured. Is it split into different lots for the different types of care, or is it grouped together? If the latter, be sure you can service all of the requirements.

2. Read the tender documents

Read the tender documents carefully before you start to make sure you understand what the tenderer really wants. These can be complicated but you need to able to demonstrate you can meet all the requirements or you will not be considered. You will need to evidence how you have successfully provided the service before.

3. Be risk-averse

Health and social care authorities are risk-averse, so you need to provide the assurances that your service is robust, patient centred, and will not negatively affect quality of care. What management information systems do you have in place to ensure that the care is provided correctly and the patient is not at risk?

4. Policies and procedures

Consider how strong and up-to-date your care-specific policies and procedures are? How good is your Safeguarding policy? Do you undertake safeguarding training? How will concerns be reported and corrected? Consider strengthening these if you need to, so you are ready to tender.

5. Staff recruitment and retention

Having sufficient, correctly qualified and trained care staff is always an issue. So what are your staff recruitment and retention procedures? Do you have an efficient system to recruit on demand? How robust are your compliance checks? What is your training and CPD programme to ensure adequate skills? Can you provide certificates, examples and policies to provide the evidence the healthcare tender requires? If not, start collating these.

6. Read the tender questions carefully

Make sure you read the tender questions carefully. If you are unsure of how to respond, use the official procurement portal to query the commissioning authority.

7. Provide evidence

Any great tender response will provide evidence. To provide the assurance the authority needs, use case histories and testimonials with any facts, names, dates, results and previous outcomes.

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