Source: Hertfordshire County Council

Feedback from a Pre-Procurement Market Engagement Event

We have recently attended a workshop where commissioners from Hertfordshire County Council described their new vision for Adult Care Services in Hertfordshire, and in particular, Supported Living services.

At the event, care providers heard about Hertfordshire’s Connected Lives framework for supporting people, service models, pricing and tendering opportunities. They were able to discuss each topic in groups and give feedback.

This article details the key messages from the workshop:

On delivering Connected Lives…

  • People need to be at the centre of how their care is delivered and empowered to make choices, learn new skills and take control
  • Future services must deliver high quality, outcome-based care and support – meeting changing expectations of 0-25 cohort and deal flexibly with an older population
  • Connect & Enable: need to more clearly assess and record the achievement of personal outcomes and reduce reliance on paid support
  • Services that are responsive to people’s changing needs and abilities and make best use of Assistive Technology
  • Supported by providers that can access community and universal services and resources
  • Providers that can deliver a risk-positive approach, and for the most complex people, Positive Behaviour Support

On service models…

  • Strong preference for providers to register services so they can deliver personal care – better placed to grow services
  • We want to commission shared hours for a geographical area/ cluster of individual flats as well as in shared accommodation and self-contained ‘schemes’
  • Move from building-based support to more Community Support – support delivered to local clusters and dispersed accommodation
  • We will need different models for
    • 24/7 intensive services with shared daytime and night-time hours
    • Services that provide individuals with a few hours of support a week
    • Services that are more focused on intensive recovery (e.g. mental health)
  • Services need to be flexible; responsive to changing need, can demonstrate how shared support hours are used effectively
  • Models to enable and accommodate greater service user choice
  • Think about what model(s) and type of support you want to deliver

On pricing…

  • We are modelling moving to a blended hourly rate (combining ‘core’ and ‘additional’ hours)
  • Average hourly rate range currently being paid across Support Living and Community Support services is £13.50 to £17.50 (average hourly rate across all services is £15.60)
  • We understand you may want to bid at different rates dependent on complexity – e.g. ‘standard’, ‘complex’, and ‘bespoke’ support
  • Hourly rate may go up over the life of the Framework as we move to payments on actuals
  • No decisions taken yet – conversations are ongoing

On contracts…

  • Ability to select the services you want to deliver under different categories: primary and secondary need (e.g. Learning Disability, autism, mental health), geographical area, and complexity of support (standard, complex, bespoke)
  • Annual reviews of commissioned hours will be linked to monitoring process – identify and address significant changes in need/support/hours commissioned
  • We will aim for shared hours to be at the minimum level required so we can commission more flexibly to meet individual needs; service users will also be able to pool individual hours if they choose to do so
  • Over the life of the Framework, we want to agree with providers an ‘up to’ number of care/ support hours, supported by electronic monitoring and payment on actuals
  • Providers to be responsive to Direct Payments and Individual Service Funds

On referral, award and call off…

  • Evaluation criteria to get on to the Framework will focus on quality
  • Framework score will be carried through in to the call-off process
  • It is our intention to award future Supported Living/ Community Support work only to providers on the Framework – we are proposing to re-open the Framework annually
  • Will be launching a simple, accessible e-brokerage system for advertising placements/ packages/ referrals and calling-off work
  • We will use ‘rounds’ to call-off work – all relevant providers ca bid. Criteria likely to include service user choice, as well as price and quality
  • Providers will compete on price at call-off (award criteria will balance quality and price) – ability for different pricing requirements for different call-offs
  • Phase 2 will consider possible transfer of existing services on to the Framework – more details to follow in due course

» Click here to view Hertfordshire’s 15 years: Future Direction and Strategic Ambitions for Adult Social Care in Hertfordshire 2018-2033 document