“Effective building of long term partnerships between providers and local authorities would be more effective than continual threats and disruption.” research participant
In 2013-14 CCPS commissioned an exploration of the impact of procurement and tendering for care and support on providers. The research looked at the extent to which the then social care procurement guidance was shaping practice on the ground. The report concluded that competitive tendering- and particularly re-tendering:
- Has major effects on providers- with respect the quality, continuity and stability of the support they provide.
- has significant implications for workforce development, planning and terms and conditions.
- Significantly shapes the local provider market – the range of providers and types of support available in a local area.
- May conflict with some other policy drivers in public service reform (E.g. collaboration, co-production, partnership, self-directed support and personalisation.
In the 2015 CCPS business resilience survey 60 % of respondents reported that they had refrained from tendering; or withdrawn from the process on the grounds of financial viability of the contract suggesting that competitive tendering was having continued effects on service sustainability. With new cost pressures on providers (such as the national ‘living’ wage) market exit may become more common unless a collaborative solution can be found.