As health and social care services are increasingly contracted out, the role that small businesses have to play in this diverse and challenging sector is now more important than ever.
Our upcoming event for health and social care providers will give you an insider’s perspective on how to win procurement contracts and better understand your market. So what exactly are public bodies looking for in a supplier?
Public/private partnerships in care are social enterprises. The key benefit of a social enterprise approach compared to a public sector approach is that service providers can be more flexible, more tailored and more innovative. Demonstrating that your small, medium or micro enterprise (SMME) is innovative is therefore crucial.
In particular, public bodies want a service delivery partner that offers them something different to their current approach. When tendering for these contracts, SMMEs need to demonstrate their added value and how their approach differs from, and is better than, an in-house provider.
Authorities are well aware of the issues the sector faces in terms of recruitment and retention of staff. Research has shown that the turnover rate of staff in the sector last year stood at 27.3 per cent. This level of instability in resources is risky for a public sector buyer, who typically wants a clear management structure in order to oversee the contract effectively. SMMEs need to demonstrate how they can provide the continuity in service provision that buyers want, and that they are finding innovative ways to meet the staffing challengers that their competitors face.
Since the Public Services (Social Value) Act was passed in 2012, bodies who commission public services are required to consider how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits. Although this is not compulsory for all buyers, many bodies tendering for health and social care services choose to ask their potential suppliers how they will deliver social value as part of their contract.
The definition of social value has purposefully been kept flexible in order to respond to a broad range of contexts, but as a starting point, SMMEs could be thinking about their sustainability and environmental impact, supply chains and the training or employment opportunities that can be created through the delivery of the contract. Developing a social value strategy is a useful way for SMMEs to set themselves apart from their competitors and show how they are responding to public sector requirements.
For more information, come along to our event on Tuesday 20 June in Stratford, or to find out more information about the range of support on offer in the Building Legacies programme, please contact email@example.com or call the office on 020 7537 6480.