04 Mar

3 Things to Consider When Writing Your Ambulance Tender Response

Insight

Answers to your ambulance tenders FAQ’s

It can seem daunting when writing a response to an ambulance tender. The public sector requires a lot of additional policies and requirements to be in place when tendering. This blog hopes to answer all your FAQ’s to do with ambulance tenders and the NHS Ambulance Service tendering procedure.

What are the UK Ambulance Services?

The UK Ambulance Service is comprised of 10 individual NHS Ambulance Trusts in England:

  • East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Central Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
  • South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
  • East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Then you have the following services covering the rest of the UK:

  • The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
  • The Scottish Ambulance Service
  • The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust

The London Ambulance Service alone spends approximately £78 million annually procuring a range of goods and services. They work with a range of public organisations such as:

What are NHS ambulance tenders used for?

The NHS may put ambulance tenders out to procure many goods and services. Their principal areas of spending include:

  • Frontline staff and services

Information technology

  • Desktops and services
  • Communications technology
  • Networks

Fleet and logistics

  • Emergency vehicles
  • Accident damage repairs
  • Fuel

Medical

  • Defibrillators and associated medical equipment
  • Medical gases
  • Medical consumables such as bandages and gloves

Professional services

  • HR recruitment
  • Travel and accommodation
  • Insurance 

What are ambulance tender framework agreements?

Framework agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) are common ways that the NHS uses to procure ambulance goods and services. Framework agreements are used to appoint multiple suppliers to provide various services and goods. They can run for several years at a time with the possibility of extension. Many frameworks and DPSs will enable you to choose a ‘Lot’. A Lot is used for specific goods, service or location. It enables you to work alongside other service providers on a contract. Businesses are typically able to apply for three Lots. This is as long as you’re able to prove you have the capabilities to fulfil the contract if successful.

3 things to consider when writing your ambulance tender response

  1. Be in keeping with the general standards

An ambulance tender response will likely require you to have certain accreditations, qualifications and policies. These will vary depending on the goods or service being procured. Some examples that could be required are:

  • ISO 9001; 14001; 23001; 27001
  • OHSAS 18001
  • COSHH
  • RMADS
  1. Be the MEAT

Public sector organisations have a responsibility to ensure all public money received is used as resourcefully as possible. Due to this, successful tenders achieve the best value for money and contracts are awarded to the MEAT. MEAT stands for the most economically advantageous tender.

A MEAT means that the buyer is looking at more than just the price. They will be looking at a range of factors which could include:

  • Accessibility
  • Innovation
  • Customer service
  • Technical ability
  • Quality
  • Ability to deliver on time
  • Environmental benefits
  1. Sustainable development

Coinciding with MEAT, sustainable development, also referred to as social value is important for any public sector contract. You must comply with all applicable environmental, social and labour law requirements. The NHS and public sector, in general, take this seriously. As of January 2021, there is a mandatory 10% weighting on social value within all public contacts. Bear in mind 10% is the minimum, some can have a weighting of up to 30%.

This should not be an afterthought when writing your ambulance tender response. You should be including policies that you can actually deliver on and maintain. Social value responses expect you to demonstrate the social, environmental and economic aspects. They want to know you’re committed to aiding things such as:

  • COVID-19 recovery
  • Climate change
  • Reducing waste
  • Paying the Living Wage of all staff and supply chain subcontractors
  • Helping fight economic inequality
  • Creating a diverse and fair workplace
  • Introduce learning opportunities to help fight unemployment

The NHS will be looking to see tender responses that encourage the NHS Long Term Plan and sustainability.

5 tips for responding to an ambulance tender

  1. Read the information for providers and the specification carefully. Always ask clarification questions.
  2. Give a full response. Don’t assume that the buyer knows anything, they can only evaluate what’s written down in your answer.
  3. Focus on answering the questions asked. They can only evaluate what’s relevant. You should demonstrate how you will meet the requirements of the tender.
  4. Be clear on your pricing model and provide full costings.
  5. Before submission, double-check you have signed and returned the declarations.

How can we help?

Once you’ve found the right ambulance tender for your business, we can help you write the response. Our sister company, Hudson Succeed, have 60 years of collective experience of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. Our Bid Writers can help your business win its next ambulance tender. We offer four bid writing and support packages.

Tender Writing

If you’re interested in a specific ambulance tender you’ve seen why not send it our way? Our Bid Writers will take care of the bid response for you and they’ll even submit it on your behalf. They’ll provide you with a full Tender Writing breakdown.

Tender Mentor

Our Tender Mentor service analyses your tender content, double-checking it for any errors before you submit.

Tender Ready

The Tender Ready package is for those who have never tendered before. We offer a three-stage process that makes sure you have everything in place to tender successfully. This package includes a 12-month subscription to a Discover portal of your choice.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve written an ambulance tender response but aren’t seeing the results you want, Tender Improvement can help. Our Bid Writers will assess your supporting documents and previous tender submissions. They’ll give you some guidance and feedback on how to improve next time.

Where can I find ambulance tenders?

Our Healthcare Tenders portal is home to hundreds of live healthcare contract opportunities, frameworks and DPS’ from across the UK. These can be lucrative opportunities for your business. They are a fine way to secure a pipeline of work for your business.

What makes Healthcare Tenders different?

Good question. A subscription to Healthcare Tenders allows you to view all opportunities from multiple UK portals in one, central, easy-to-navigate place. We don’t rely on often mislabelled CPV codes. Our Opportunity Trackers manually trawl through thousands of sites daily, uploading them via keyword. This means you’ll never miss an opportunity for your business again.

You’re able to filter the results by keyword, budget, location and more. This saves you even more time, allowing you to tailor the results to suit you. What’s more, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Account Manager. You can ask them any ambulance tender or portal questions you may have. You’ll also receive a daily email bulletin straight to your inbox containing all the live tenders found that day.

Here are some recent ambulance tenders that we sourced on our Healthcare Tenders portal:

Tender for the Provision of Frontline Ambulance

States of Jersey – International – Budget: Undisclosed

26-01-2021

Framework Agreement for the Supply of Non-Emergency Patient Ambulance Transport

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust – West Midlands

Budget: Undisclosed

25-04-2019

Non-Emergency Ambulance Transport Service

Procurement and Logistics Service – Northern Ireland- Budget: £19,620,000

09-01-2019

Specialised Critical Care Ambulance Transport Service for The East Midlands Region

NHS England and NHS Improvement (Specialised Commissioning) – East Midlands

Budget: £12,250,000

14-08-2020

Market Engagement Event For Specialised Critical Care Ambulance Transport Services Related Procurement

NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit – East Midlands – Budget: Undisclosed

12-02-2020

We source healthcare tenders for the following sub-sectors:

Domiciliary Care Tenders

Medical PPE

Social Care Contracts

Medical Supplies & Consumables

Mental Health Tenders

Supported living Tenders

Medical Equipment Tenders

Book a free live demo today.

Upgrade to Discover Elite

We know how busy you are running your own business. That’s why we want to make life even easier for you with our new Discover Elite packages. This upgraded feature is particularly useful if your business runs across two sectors such as Healthcare and Technology, for example. It helps streamline the tendering process, even more, eliminating the frustrating, time-consuming pre-bid admin aspect of tendering.

The Ultimate Time-Saving Tool

The Ultimate Time-Saving Tool package does what it says on the tin. This package includes:

  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Discover tender portals of your choice.
  • Up to five bid breakdowns to help you make bid or no-bid
  • A dedicated Account Manager to help track the perfect tender opportunities for your business.
  • Weekly phone calls with your Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.
  • Public and private buyer portal management. This includes registering, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid strategy.
  • Award and pre-market engagement notices monitored on your behalf.

Become a Pre-Bid Master

Become a Pre-Bid Master package includes all the perks above, plus the following two perks:

  • Up to seven breakdowns per month.
  • The development of a bid strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us for more information.


5 Tips for Writing a … 2nd March 2021 The orthodontic tendering process explained. NHS contracts for tender and where to find them. How to Find & Wi… 9th March 2021