Domiciliary Care Tenders: How to win Domiciliary Contracts

2nd April 2020

Domiciliary Care Tenders: Becoming Tender Ready

As the lifespan of the average UK resident continues to grow, as does the need for domiciliary care. Over recent years the issuing of domiciliary care tenders has risen drastically. The personal care of the elderly and the disadvantaged and vulnerable is consistently and continuously being outsourced to private organisations. Providing opportunities to care providers of all statures – from small start-ups to large agencies.

Traditionally, care tenders were enormous, with contract values out of the realm of many care providers. However, The Health and Social Care Act 2012 had a huge impact on how healthcare is organised and delivered. Where once the responsibility for sourcing and delivering services belonged to the central government, these days it is up to local NHS organisations, or Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) as they are more well known.

According to recent government figures, NHS Trusts are collectively spending a staggering £9 billion per year in the procurement of goods and services, and engaging SMEs (Small, Medium and Micro businesses) is helping them to improve efficiency across the board.

In 2017, the UK private healthcare industry was valued at a whopping $11.8Billion. Experts expect this value to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 2.6% from 2017-2023. With its value expected to reach $13.8 Billion by the end of 2023.

However, this rapid growth hasn’t come without issue. According to CQC reports, between 2011-2018, serious injuries reported by private healthcare providers have risen 7-fold, from 519 to 3537. Since these findings were published, the CQC has introduced measures to ensure all private healthcare providers are suitably placed to provide the appropriate services.

When entering into domiciliary care tenders, it is crucially important to present your business as experienced, compliant and socially responsible. This blog aims to provide you with the necessary tools to achieve this, submit winning bids and enabling you to Succeed through domiciliary care tenders!

Compliance & Qualification

To be successful when tendering for contracts, you must be able to display compliance, accreditation and qualification. Otherwise, you will almost certainly fall at the first hurdle. The local authorities and organisations tendering such works, need to see evidence of your capability. The most straight forward way of demonstrating this is through satisfactory CQC ratings. There are currently four ratings that the CQC award to health and social care services:

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires Improvement
  • Inadequate

All healthcare providers must display their CQC rating, by law. CQC ratings have become clear and effective measures of domiciliary care provider’s abilities. Enabling tendering authorities to better understand the businesses bidding for their work. A CQC rating of “outstanding” or “good” will reassure buyers of your teams’ competency in care and ability to undertake the required care.

Don’t worry if you’re not CQC registered as of yet, or do not possess official audit results. Buyers do recognise this and often provide the option to demonstrate this via written responses regarding your quality of care instead.

Moreover, CQC ratings are awarded through various external audits, undertaken by CQC moderators. Therefore, in order to achieve a high rating, you must be able to demonstrate your capabilities on demand. CQC is compulsory for those who are intending to provide personal care services and they require you to demonstrate that your organisation is:

  • Safe

    – Individuals under your care must be protected from abuse and avoidable harm. This can be achieved through effective governance, regular staff competency training and continuous internal audits.

  • Effective

    – Individuals must benefit from your care and support services. Your services should achieve positive outcomes and ensure the keeping of quality of life for all. CQC base their ranking of this issue based upon the best available evidence. Therefore, it is key that you keep records of your service delivery. Perhaps producing case studies of past / current successful service. These case studies would be best supported through references. Whether from the individual in care or from their extended support networks.

  • Caring

    – All staff must treat individuals with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. Involving individuals in decisions where possible is perhaps the best way to constantly practice this. Creating bespoke care plans based upon a practice of person-centred care will demonstrate this to CQC auditors. Furthermore, it is imperative that all staff are adequality trained and qualified in order to deliver the required services. Submitting staff qualifications and experience as part of your tender submission will help demonstrate competency to the tendering authority.

  • Responsive

    – You must demonstrate that their services are organised in a manner which meets the needs of all. As a supplier, you must demonstrate your flexibility and capacity to react to change. This can be done by ensuring you have a robust, regularly updated business continuity plan. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to establish partnership links with other local care facilities. This will demonstrate your organisation’s ability to provide an all-encompassing service. Ensuring reactivity and responsiveness throughout.

  • Leadership

    – The CQC will assess how ‘well-led’ your practice is. Ensuring effective governance of your organisation is crucial to achieving high marks in this section. Maintaining a bank of policies and procedures will demonstrate clear working practices. Such policies should include; health and safety, safeguarding and safe recruitment, to name a few. Also, it is important to show a positive attitude toward staff – ensuring the promotion of a fair and transparent culture. Encouraging learning and innovation within the practice.


When bidding for domiciliary care tenders, it is important to demonstrate your experience. Contracting authorities want to see solid evidence of your experience and competency.

Even if your business is a new startup, with little experience, you should still demonstrate the experience of your staff. This could be through mentioning previous work, roles, or outlining relevant qualifications. Tendering authorities need to know their residents are in good, steady hands. Demonstrating a reliable and quality track record is perhaps the most effective way to do so.

Without firm evidence, including numbers, dates, figures and details of specific challenges, you may struggle. Indeed, building up a bank of case studies to draw on, is a key first step toward winning domiciliary care tenders. However, to counteract lack of organisational experience, we do have Spot Provider Frameworks, which are more geared to the smaller agencies or individuals who deliver domiciliary care services on a lower-tier delivery basis.

There are many ways for start-ups to develop their experience. Tendering authorities often recognise that domiciliary needs can fluctuate wildly, or grow exponentially, so it is always worth contacting your local Council to ask if they have any second or third-tier opportunities available. These are aimed at smaller, less experienced companies who may not have the turnover or experience to tender to be the main provider on a care tender.

Also, making yourself available to subcontract work away from larger providers will also ensure you gain demonstratable experience. Getting work through sub-contracting is another excellent way for young companies to gain the experience they require to start tendering for contracts of your own. These methods of contracting work are great for start-ups looking to establish a foothold in the procurement world.

Quality Responses

As typically the case with all healthcare tenders, quality is the most important aspect of a domiciliary care tender. With cost being of secondary consideration to most tendering authorities within this sector. We at Hudson Succeed, recently submitted a bid on behalf of a care sector client, which was judged on 100% quality. Meaning price was not even considered! Tendering authorities are more interested in getting a good quality service that meets the needs of service users fully, rather than a cheap service.

Tip: If you’re struggling with what to write, how to respond to questions or showcase your experience, talk to our Hudson Succeed team today!

Risk Management

Showing Buyers that you are prepared to own the responsibility for identifying and mitigating risks is hugely important. Even if you are a start-up applying for second-tier opportunities, demonstrating a strong approach to risk management will put your tender in the spotlight when Buyers are evaluating responses.

Providing additional evidence such as past risk assessments and a competent health & safety policy alongside your submission (where allowed), will demonstrate your proactive approach to risk mitigation.

Demonstrating an active approach to risk will prove to buyers that you are a responsible company, ultimately inspiring their confidence in your ability to provide a safe, quality service.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Social Value is becoming more and more prevalent in all tenders, across all business sectors. Buyers want to see you demonstrate how you will bring value to their communities. The communities that your organisation will be working in when delivering on the terms of their tender.

Authorities tendering for domiciliary care services don’t just want to see your organisation’s commitment to your service users. They also want to see your commitment to the wider picture. Nowadays, it is very likely that you will encounter at least one question about social value or community benefits. A strong social value response can be the difference between a strong care tender and a weak one.

Typically, an organisations social value is measured by 3 categories. Their social, economic and environmental contributions to the community. We have included below some good examples of good social value within these 3 categories:

  • Social

    • Supporting local charity initiatives;
    • Supporting local community centres/clubs;
    • Supporting local authority/government initiatives.
  • Environmental

    • Making a commitment to lower your carbon footprint;
    • Promoting environmental consciousness across your service provisions;
    • Holding the ISO 14001 accreditation.
  • Economic

    • Providing employment opportunities to local groups, e.g. school leavers, unemployed, etc;
    • Creating volunteering opportunities;
    • Investing in the local community, eg. ensuring all supply chain partners or employees reside within 15km of the contract delivery location.

Further Support

We have a dedicated tender tracking portal for the Healthcare Sector. Visit Healthcare Tenders to view all the latest contract opportunities.

If you are still unsure and require any further advice or guidance, get in touch with our Hudson Succeed division today! One of our dedicated team of bid writers can provide a free consultation and talk you through the domiciliary care tendering process further. We can help you succeed!

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