How are Healthcare Framework Agreements Adapting in 2020/21?
3 Ways Healthcare Framework Agreements are Adapting to the Pandemic
Tenders for work in the healthcare sector are often procured through Healthcare Framework Agreements (or Frameworks). As part of a framework, multiple organisations provide various services under one overall agreement or contract. Healthcare frameworks are often sizable contracts, open to both small and large organisations, and often span several years.
At Healthcare Tenders, our sector-specific portal, we source tenders from both the public and private sector for our clients. The majority of healthcare frameworks are public sector opportunities. Contracts are commonly procured through:
- The NHS;
- Local authorities, such as local councils, and;
- Public health organisations, such as Public Health England.
The nature of healthcare opportunities means that contracts can range from thousands to millions of pounds. Annual public healthcare spending budgets in the UK are consistently in the billions. Due to the size and expense of the contract, a healthcare framework is often broken down into smaller ‘Lots’ or services. As a specialised healthcare SME, you can secure work on a specific ‘Lot’ that is best suited to your services.
Healthcare tenders are in continuous demand. We know this first-hand – we currently have 580+ open opportunities on our dedicated Healthcare Tenders portal! In fact, we created Healthcare Tenders due to the extreme demand we were receiving from clients looking for healthcare services. Opportunities are always available for large and small organisations through a variety of contracts and healthcare frameworks. Read our guide for winning healthcare contracts in the UK for more information.
How are healthcare frameworks adapting in 2020?
Healthcare frameworks are more prevalent than ever! The public sector especially has an increased need for quality healthcare provision and dedicated service providers. COVID-19 has put a strain on the UK healthcare system in many ways. The need for a systematic approach in healthcare has therefore increased tenfold due to problems caused by the pandemic.
Doctor Katherine Henderson from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine recently summed this up. She said: If we do not come together and take effective precautions, COVID will continue its explosion across the country, the consequences of which could be the implosion of the NHS this winter.
To combat this, Matt Hancock has set out a plan for increasing collaboration, saying:
A collaborative approach is essential for us to have better, less fragmented decision-making. Streamlining work by bringing together commissioners, providers and local authorities, to plan services for the populations we serve…We will remove barriers that prevent collaboration, and follow the approach set out in the Long-Term Plan.
We will improve, rework, join up and tie systems together so we can all focus on the people that matter: the populations we serve.
So, throughout the public sector, health services are set to adapt to the pandemic with a more determined and co-ordinated approach. Times of crises require new and innovative ways of adapting. But what exactly does all of this mean for healthcare frameworks?
Here are 3 ways healthcare frameworks are already changing, right now.
1. New demand means new opportunities!
The drastic changes brought about by COVID-19 have caused huge changes in operations across the healthcare sector. This means there is an increased demand for healthcare frameworks that provide brand new services. This is also true of other branches in the Care sector, such as increased work opportunities on Social Care Frameworks.
Some of the new tendering opportunities in response to the pandemic are more obvious than others. For example, we all know there are increased tendering opportunities for PPE supply or COVID-19 vaccine research. However, there are countless other areas where new opportunities are springing up in direct response to COVID-19 and its effects.
For example, Outsourced Clinical Services. This framework is serviced by a wide range of providers from NHS Trusts to small and large independent sector providers. The framework ensures patients can be seen within suitable and compliant timeframes by outsourcing clinical services. This helps to reduce waiting lists caused by the pandemic.
Current healthcare frameworks are incorporating more services.
When a healthcare framework is successful, it can be renewed, and more lots can be incorporated upon renewal. This expansion can be a great opportunity for growth as an SME. If you have the skillset, you may have the potential to expand your services across more lots as new services are added.
For example, the ‘Endo-surgery and Women’s Health Framework’ recently expanded to cover more aspects of women’s health and laparoscopic instruments.
Several lots were added. 8 lots are now covered under this framework:
- Lot 1 – Access products
- Lot 2 – Electro surgery products
- Lot 3 – Stapling Products
- Lot 4 – Hand instruments
- Lot 5 – Field of Vision Products
- Lot 6 – Endometrial Ablation
- Lot 7 – Fibroid and Polyp
- Lot 8 – Miscellaneous
The key benefits of expanding this healthcare framework were savings initiatives. Due to a larger portfolio of products across more lots, the majority of suppliers offer savings in their ranges. This allows for savings across the supply base.
Contract lengths are extending to meet demands.
Frameworks are also more likely to extend their contract lengths in current circumstances. This means there are increased opportunities for long-running contracts – up to 10 years in some cases! This is great news in the healthcare sector, where many jobs are temporary or fixed-term contracts which rely on the renewal of funding.
For example, the following NHS framework agreements have all recently been extended by six months in response to the pandemic:
- Healthcare Clinical Information Systems
- Facilities Management (Soft FM)
- Medical Gases in Cylinders and Bulk Gases
- Interpretation and Translation Services
These extensions can improve patient care by providing people with a seamless service and enable further market engagement.
Overall, there is now a broader range of opportunities!
Ultimately, these 3 key adaptions within healthcare frameworks mean there is a broader range of opportunities to tender for. As new contracts and lots become available, and contract extensions are more common, there’s more chance for business growth. Now is a great time to source work on a healthcare framework, especially if you’re new to tendering.
Are you a smaller business who’s never tendered before? Bidding for work on a healthcare framework is a great place to start. Often, buyers on frameworks don’t require as much experience or turnover from service providers as they would on single-provider contracts. However, the contracting authorities of healthcare frameworks will typically set strict criteria in the following areas:
I want to tender for work on a healthcare framework! How do I get started?
If you’re looking for work on a healthcare framework, Healthcare Tenders will increase your chances of finding the right tender. Our portal sources public and private sector opportunities from all over the UK. So, it’s likely we’ll find opportunities local to you. Healthcare Tenders is also suitable for small and large organisations alike.
We know that providing healthcare services is your main priority. That’s why we provide a service which saves you time, money and resources. We’ve streamlined the NHS tendering process as much as possible, in the following ways:
- Our Opportunity Trackers manually search thousands of sources daily to ensure our clients never miss a tender. This means each opportunity is current and relevant to your organisation.
- We post opportunities on our portal, Healthcare Tenders, and tag them with accurate keywords manually. We don’t rely on CPV codes, which are often incorrect and cause tenders to be missed.
- Our clients can filter results easily by keyword, region, budget, service and more.
- Clients receive daily alerts when tenders are released for services in their sector as well as 24hr access to our Healthcare Tenders portal.
- Our clients are provided with a dedicated Hudson Account Manager. They are on-hand to answer any questions about the portal or tendering process in general.
- Our clients can have a free 20-minute phone consultation with our bid writing experts from Hudson Succeed. They will answer specific questions and provide advice and guidance related to your tendering journey.
Get in touch with Healthcare Tenders today for a free trial / free demo.
Bid Writing Support
Once you’ve found the perfect healthcare tender for your business, our Hudson Succeed division can continue to support you. We offer a variety of healthcare bid writing services to suit your requirements. Get in touch today to see how you can succeed with us.
Our Tender VLE platform provides expert masterclasses and fact sheets covering many aspects of tender writing. From technical writing tips to design elements, you’ll find clear answers to almost any question you may have about tendering. Our team shares their expert knowledge through video tutorials.
We source healthcare business leads for sub-sectors including:
Below are previous Healthcare frameworks sourced on our portal:
Framework for Standard Home Care Services
Derby City Council- East Midlands- Budget: Undisclosed
Children’s Residential Care Framework
Hampshire County Council- South East- Budget: Undisclosed
Flexible Framework Agreement for Education and Social Support Services (Children and Families)
Dundee City Council- Scotland- Budget: Undisclosed
Framework Agreement in Relation to Home Care Services – Tender for Lot A Lead Provider (Tier) 1 Cluster Area 3 and 4
Southampton City Council- South East- Budget: £12,480,000
Dec 2020 Re-Opening – Gloucestershire Health and Social Care Pseudo-Framework 2020-2024
Gloucestershire County Council- South West- Budget: Undisclosed
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