Contracts for care and support services provided by the third sector have become increasingly subject to procurement processes, in particular competitive tendering, since the EU Procurement Directives were transposed into Scots law in 2006. Subsequent reforms to procurement law, policy and  guidance (see below for details) have attempted to improve public procurement in general as well as recognise the unique nature of care and support purchasing.

There is a clear tension between public procurement –which views social care services as business opportunities to be awarded through competitive tendering and social care policy which focusses on supporting choice and control; tailoring support to the individual; and; building and maintaining relationships. The drive towards collaboration and partnership, in the design and delivery of social care also runs counter to the practice of competitive tendering- adding a significant level of challenge to collaborative processes. In 2013 CCPS explored these tensions through a major national survey  of providers’ experiences of commissioning and procurement.

CCPS works to:

  • Highlight the tensions between social care policy and procurement policy.
  • Support the development of good practice in tendering and procurement for care and support.
  • Explore alternatives to competitive  tendering.
  • Promote the development of joint strategic commissioning-good joint strategic commissioning provides direction, context and purpose to public procurement.

Find out more

Questions or comments? Contact Dee 


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