North of England
Commercial Procurement Collaborative

NHS England and National Offender Management Service – Canning Street Project

NHS England and National Offender Management Service – Canning Street Project

Background

Following engagement on a number of successful projects, NHS NOE CPC were asked once again to support the Co-Commissioners NHS England and National Offender Management Services as part of the Offender Personality Disorder pathway.

This service is established to provide housing support the outcomes of the OPD pathway by providing specialist housing and accommodation support to offenders, facilitating their eventual move onto fully independent living in the community.

NOE CPC Solution

NOE CPC have worked previously with the co-commissioners for new Personality Disorder Services into prison settings and the Co-Commissioners in particular value what procurement can bring to their services in terms of a robust process which works alongside them to identify the best provider.

Procurement support was therefore engaged at a very early stage in the process for this service, with a view to identifying a housing support provider who would be responsible for providing housing related support to those residing within the Project.

Given the nature of stakeholders, the core team working on this procurement was both drawn from the public and private sector, and with a health, a justice and commercial housing provider perspective. The procurement process and, importantly, the tender documents were designed by NOE CPC in such a way that they ensured that all of the parties’ voices, concerns and requirements were heard fully and incorporated within the process of identifying the preferred provider, with whom all of them would have a different but close working relationship.

The service user voice was key in the drafting of the specification, which was shared with procurement at an early stage in order that the process could be designed which would focus on the key outcomes and objectives of the service itself to bring to bear real benefits for service users within the Project.

By embedding procurement within the project team, a bidder event was facilitated by NOE CPC who provided a hands on project management service to the Co-Commissioners and stakeholders, from the drafting of the tender documents, support at bidder information events, management of bidder presentations and notification and debrief of providers.

Given the nature of the service users involved in this procurement, it was considered inappropriate that they evaluate the full tender documents that were submitted, but it was of essential importance to the service that their voice was heard. In order to accommodate this, the decision was taken to hold carefully managed bidder presentations to which service users were invited and actively involved. Providers were notified within the tender documents of the presentation, along with details of the topic they were to cover along with scoring criteria in order to ensure that our obligations in terms of transparency and equal treatment were being met.

Following the presentations, service users asked questions of the providers relating to the content of the presentation and their comments were included within the standstill feedback provided to the bidders. The involvement of service users to this project was not a token “tick-box” exercise. The nature of this service means that it is likely to stand or fall on its success at engaging with the residents within the service and it is therefore critical to its long term success that their opinions were considered and counted.

The service users themselves were clear that they massively valued the opportunity to be involved in the Project in such a way and the approach to involving them within the procurement is considered invaluable.

Outcome

The ultimate success of this Project will be measured in terms of outputs for the residents within it, which will be some time down the line. However, the process to date has identified a life changing service that was delivered within budget, on time and in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations for a Schedule 3 Light Touch Regime Service and, most importantly, to a provider that the Co-Commissioners and other key stakeholders have absolute confidence in to deliver an excellent service to this vulnerable group.

Testimonial

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a consummate professional. Throughout the entire procurement process Michelle was well informed, organised and committed to getting the job done thoroughly and to the highest standards. The advice and guidance we received was fair, balanced and always delivered with good grace allowing the process and relationships to progress smoothly from start to finish. We have worked with Michelle on a number of projects and her good humour, dedication and professionalism allied to consistently positive outcomes will have us working with her again, no doubt. I cannot commend her to you highly enough.

Neil Piggin, Senior Commissioning Manager North of England Offender Personality Disorder Programme Team – NOMS