Agenda item

Care Homes Block Contract Procurement

      Report of the Chief Executive.



Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, SEND, Transition and Inclusion presented the report which provided detail about the procurement of nursing and residential care capacity on the Wiltshire Care Homes Alliance (WCHA) platform; and an update on the outcome of the previous tender on the WCHA, considered by Cabinet on 5 January 2021.


Cllr Davies reminded Cabinet that they had agreed proposals to develop and implement a new commissioning and procurement platform for nursing and residential beds in Wiltshire. At that time, it was also agreed to run a Mini-Competition for the provision of block and framework nursing care beds, and framework residential care beds under the WCHA. The Council was not able to award contracts due to the prices offered by the market being considered unaffordable. To mitigate this, existing contracts were extended to support a new tender timeline to deliver contracts from 1 April 2022.


Cllr Gordon King, Vice-Chair of the Health Select Committee confirmed that officers had provided a briefing on 23 November 2021 to him and Cllr Kidney, Chair, who were satisfied with the procurement approach being followed and have been invited to a briefing in April 2022 to discuss the outcomes of the procurement. Cllr King and Cllr Kidney recognise that work has taken place by the team following the exercise in the spring, when the market response was above budget, and we look forward to meeting again in April 2022.


Cllr Ian Thorn recognised how critical the report content and proposals were, there was a need to reduce costs and make the mini-competitions more successful; he commented on the number of care homes involved in the Care Home Alliance and how this number can be increased. Cllr Davies confirmed that a variety of changes were being taken including changes to the length of the contract, co-production with providers to enable the most accurate prices possible whilst minimising commercial risk; working in partnership with theWiltshire Care Partnership to promote the alliance, alongside better engagement and development of relationships between officers and providers.


Cllr Pip Ridout confirmed that the Financial Planning Task Group had been involved in reviewing the report as she and Cllr Gordon King, Vice-Chair of the Health Select Committee and member of the Task Group had received a briefing on the report and provided feedback. Cllr Ridout reported that the Task group would need to undertake a very stringent look at the financial information once available.


Cllr Tony Jackson highlighted the growing demand for Care Home places in a time of an increasingly aging population and suggested that investigations should be undertaken in relation to the cost of providing support at home. The Leader indicated that this was an issue of national importance. Cllr Davies confirmed that the Council were obliged to meet the level of demand, and indeed were investigating the issue raised, with a report coming to Cabinet in March 2022 on this very issue. 




  1. That the content of this report is noted.


  1. That Mini–Competitions are conducted under the WCHA to award contracts for the provision of nursing block beds and nursing and residential framework beds in accordance with the indicative timeline in this report, to establish contracts commencing on 1st April 2022.


  1. To delegate authority to make decisions connected with the procurement and award new contracts and all associated documents to the Director Procurement & Commissioning in consultation with the Corporate Director Resources & Deputy Chief Executive and the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, SEND, Transition and Inclusion.



Reasons for Decision:


The Council’s current block and framework arrangements for nursing beds in Care Homes expire on 31st March 2022. Following a compliant tender process, the Council was not able to award contracts due to the prices offered by the market being considered unaffordable. This paper proposes changes to the previous process following feedback from the market and consideration of a pricing model.


Supporting documents: