With the existing contract coming to an end, NHS Nottingham CCG needed to re-procure out of hospital community services for local citizens.
Arden & GEM successfully led this collaborative and complex procurement which put a commitment to social value at its heart, with 25% of the total score awarded to bidders focused on improving employment and training, promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours and supporting a healthy environment.
By consolidating services under one contract not only has integration been improved, for the benefit of service users, but significant cost savings – equivalent to £4m per year – have been achieved.
With the existing community services contract due to end on 30 June 2018, NHS Nottingham City CCG was presented with an opportunity to re-procure out of hospital community services, in a new and integrated way, to serve more than 350,000 registered patients.
A new contract was needed which could:
- deliver efficiency savings
- maintain patient safety and satisfaction
- be extended to community mental health services
- consolidate over 20 contracts into one to enable consistency and better provider management
- meet the CCG’s clear commitment to maximising social value in its commissioning activities.
The procurement needed to be delivered within a six-month timeframe to ensure that mobilisation could begin well in advance of the service commencement date. With significant expertise of successfully running and delivering complex procurement projects, Arden & GEM was approached by Nottingham City CCG to manage the process on their behalf.
An open procedure was managed through the Arden & GEM e-tendering procurement portal to enable a fair, consistent and transparent process, with a clear record of communication.
Procurement scope: A broad range of services was included in the procurement scope covering everything from self-care to short term care to Continuing Health Care. In order to manage the complexity of the scope, a single overarching service specification was designed, with a number of sub-specifications for specific areas such as long term conditions and pain management.
Market engagement sessions were organised to gain feedback on the service vision, with breakout sessions used to generate ideas about increasing service integration. This provided an ideal forum for networking, enabling prospective bidders (from the private, public and third sector) to develop relationships which would be key to the single contract model.
Embedding social value priorities: Our role was to ensure that the successful bidder delivered against the CCG’s social value priorities by structuring questions and evaluation criteria to award 25% of the total marks in this area.
Each sub-specification included a specific section on social value which was developed with the support of a social value expert, who was a key part of the multidisciplinary project team. Bidders were required to submit evidence of how they would facilitate access, activities and programmes in three priority areas:
- Improving employment and training
- Promoting health lifestyle behaviours
- Supporting a healthy environment.
A diverse range of examples was provided to spark ideas such as apprentice schemes, bike to work schemes and links with local slimming groups.
Through working collaboratively, employing procurement best practice and adopting a creative approach, this project was delivered within challenging timescales and is already realising benefits for individuals, organisations and the wider health and care system.
Delivering social value
By assigning such a high percentage of the total score to meeting social value priorities – the same marks as the financial model – this project successfully embedded social value principles within commissioning activity. The appointed supplier has already implemented a range of initiatives including:
- Establishing an employee volunteering policy
- Offering 40 weeks of work experience a year to young people
- Providing volunteer placements for trainee counsellors.
- Promoting healthy lifestyles through access to sport in the community and rolling out a diabetes education model
- Working in partnership with Age UK to deliver a social nailcare service to improve foot health and reduce social isolation.
- A reduction plan for CO2 and NOx emissions
- Providing all staff with access to a ‘cycle to work’ salary sacrifice scheme
- Improving the organisational recycling figure to 85%.
The ongoing impact of these initiatives is measured through KPIs and contract management arrangements.
The total value of the contract over 8 years and 9 months is estimated to be in excess of £271m. Through supplier consolidation, detailed specifications and integrated working, the contract is delivering annual savings of £4m. This is a significant contribution towards the financial challenges within the local health economy.
Improving system outcomes
A key aim of the procurement was to maintain patient experience and satisfaction. Feedback from contract meetings has shown that patient satisfaction with the service is very high, with 92% of people describing their overall experience with the service as excellent or good. The service is also reducing unnecessary attendances, admission and stays in acute care through integrated community working.