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The drive for more integrated care as set out in both publications will likely mean that commissioners will be selecting from a different (possibly reduced) provider landscape going forward.
It may be that a combined organisation such as an integrated care organisation could tick many boxes in terms of service specifications and commissioners’ duties to act with a view to services being provided in an integrated way.
There is a tangible sense that commissioners, particularly with regard to community and social care services, are adopting commissioning approaches which aim to deliver joined-up care along the entire care pathway. Providers have responded with joint or multi-organisation tendering across health and social care providers (the increase in alliance contracting is a reflection of this) and new care models could cement that development.
Going forward, commissioners need to consider what their strategy is going to be for commissioning particular services / care pathways under a new care model. Key questions that will need to be considered are:
- What are the current service arrangements and what assets do existing providers have that might need to transfer to new providers?
- Do commissioners intend that providers should be held to account by outcomes or performance indicators or both?
- Will arrangements be funded by traditional methods or capitated budgets?
- Do commissioners want to build in risk/reward mechanisms to incentivise providers?
- What other factors are of importance, for example social value and the involvement of third sector providers?
- What contracting model will allow us to achieve our objectives? (see the next section of this guide)
Once commissioners know the answers to these questions they can consider how they will comply with procurement law duties. Where providers can demonstrate a robust integrated care model, commissioners might be able to award contracts without running competitive tenders. But this will of course depend on what is being commissioned and the healthcare landscape in the relevant area. Commissioners will need to be able to justify any such commissioning decisions to minimise the risk of challenge.
Complying with procurement law – key questions
- Is there a distinct move towards commissioning integrated services in your locality?
- Do commissioners have a clear strategy about what their objectives are?
- Are these objectives best met through a loose collaboration of providers responding to individual tender opportunities?
- Or does the establishment of a more formal integrated care organisation involving multiple providers allow commissioners to award contracts without running competitive tenders?
- Have public sector providers considered procurement law duties when selecting partners?
A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for Contracting Authorities and Bidders.
Deborah Ramshaw provides a glossary of procurement terms for bidders and suppliers.
The government’s health and care white paper “Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all” was launched last week. It paves the way for a Health and Care Bill intended to increase collaboration and co-operation across the health and social care services.
The Hempsons team speculate what the Procure 2020 framework might offer to an NHS estates sector eager for solutions.
The UK Cabinet Office has published a number of Procurement Policy Notes (“PPNs”) in response to the current Covid crisis. Click to read our summary.
The Government has issued its second Procurement Policy Note (PPN) on the impact of COVID-19 on procurement
The Government has issued its second Procurement Policy Note (PPN) in a week which sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government issues the first Procurement Policy Note of 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on procurement
The Government has today issued the first Procurement Policy Note of 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on procurement.
The new Procurement Bill - MEAT to MAT. Significant change, or a question of semantics?
The Procurement Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 26 October; the link to the Act has now been published
The Procurement Act 2023 will come into force in October 2024 (date to be confirmed). The secondary legislation that will sit under the Procurement Act 2023 will be laid before Parliament in early 2024. These regulations will contain some of the detail as to how the Act will work in practice. During the implementation phase, we will be providing updates on what the Procurement Act 2023 will mean in practice for contracting authorities now that the content has been agreed by both Houses.
The High Court has handed down judgment on 20 June 2022 in Braceurself Limited v NHS England  EWHC 1532 (TCC). Hempsons procurement team discuss the case.