Social Care Tender Writing Tips

  • Analyse the Social Care tender documentation and make sure that your organisation can meet the service specification.
  • Stick to the questions and ensure that tender responses are written accordingly.
  • Ask yourself why Commissioners are asking each question and what is it that they want you to evidence throughout your Social Care tender response.
  • Identify your niche and what sets you apart from other social care providers. It does not matter how big (or small) an organisation you are, most of you will have a USP.
  • Be aware of current social care themes which are embedded throughout the contract specification. This includes demonstrating your objective to embed the Personalisation Agenda into your service provision, focussing on Outcomes based initiatives such as Reablement. Additionally, demonstrating knowledge and evidencing the shift to Personal Budgets, Direct Payments and Individual Service Funds. If these already form part of your service delivery, then great. If not, it’s definitely worth looking how you can/will embed them within your general social care service delivery and referencing so.
  • In addition, reference should be made (but not limited) to service capability and capacity to fulfil the contract (including staffing and training), innovative practices, measurable outcomes, compliant policies and procedures, social value, positive behaviour support, active support, best value (for money) and user involvement. Facts and figures, if you please!
  • Take note of the tense of the social care tender questions – some ask what you are currently doing and others ask what you will do if successfully awarded the contract. Use this to your advantage. However, be forewarned – do not respond that you are going to introduce processes which you have no intention of doing. They will expect to see it during any contract review if successfully awarded.
  • Commissioners won’t give contracts to just anyone. You must demonstrate that you have the capacity to meet the demand to provide the required services as set out with the tender documentation. For example, an increased demand for support packages or when you will be taking over a contract from another social care provider. Evidence what you can and/or will do based on past successes (both quantitative and qualitative) as well as showcasing your future objectives moving forward.
  • Don’t lie or fabricate answers. It doesn’t sit well and it will all unravel if you are successful and reach the presentation stage. Commissioners are Masters of judging (non) bona fide bids – it’s their job and they do it well. They will provide you with on-going support should you be successful, but don’t be dishonest in your bid as this will harm any future bids you put forward.
  • Use case studies to demonstrate current service delivery applicable to the question; Commissioners love them!
  • Check the clarification questions. These are questions that other proposers have asked and been answered by the Commissioners. You can also submit your own questions which you wish to be clarified, where necessary. Guidelines for this will be on the portal where you registered interest.
  • There will usually be a required font; ensure this is used throughout your responses.
  • Very important – stick to the word count; not one word over, although you can go under it. However, why waste the word count and fill it with irrelevant ‘space-fillers’. Use the word count to showcase as much successful information about your service delivery as possible, but ensure any information is relevant to the question being asked.
  • Spell check and have your Social Care tender responses proof read by another pair of eyes (if possible two or three).
  • Keep your responses tidy and where possible submit it early. There’s nothing more stressful when you have put blood, sweat and tears into your responses, and the server goes down, for example and you miss the deadline.
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