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Emergency Caretaking & Procurement

Emergency Caretaking & Procurement

NHS England (NHSE) or an Integrated Care Board (ICB) may issues an ‘emergency caretaking’ notice for various reasons, and this is a temporary measure, usually up to a period of six months, where services will be maintained through a temporary provider, also referred to the emergency caretaker.

NHSE / ICBs will issue an expression of interest (EOI) also sometimes referred to 'a request to participate. The submission of an EOI is made from by prospective tending parties to an advert or contract notice, for the emergency caretaker position.

Advertising to request an EOI is one way that NHSE / ICBs can compile a list of potential suppliers that it may invite to tender. Other methods include recommendations, research, maintaining a pre-selected list of possible suppliers based on their track record or asking a consultant to prepare a list.

Requesting EOIs is a form of open tendering that allows anyone to put themselves forward. It offers the greatest competition and has the advantage of allowing new or emerging suppliers to try to secure work. However, it has been criticised for attracting expressions of interest from large numbers of suppliers, some of whom may be entirely unsuitable for the contract and as a result it can waste a time, effort, and money. This is where GPS services come into action.

The emergency caretaker process gives NHSE/ICBs breathing space to secure a long-term solution that usually results in a long tendering process with the view of awarding the contract to the most suitable supplier. Usually, the Emergency Caretaker will apply for the tender following the initial Emergency Caretaking period and although they may have the initial experience and history of the contract, a compelling tender still needs to be submitted and favoured by the select committees of NHSE /ICBs.


GPS will help you prepare an EOI/tender

What is a tender?

A tender is a document that you need to complete when bidding for a contract; the tender document is how NHS England/ICBs evaluates your suitability for the contract based typically on price and quality elements – you will therefore most likely have a pricing document and question set that you must respond to. Read below for more information on the full tendering process and how it works.

The tendering process

A tender is a formal offer, or a bid, to ultimately secure a contract.

Tendering is the most common way in which NHSE/ICBs will find someone to supply services on their behalf. The tendering process is a structured process, to be fair and transparent, including a stringent selection process, EOIs from bidders, through to the request for tender and the evaluation process.

What does the tender process involve? 

Each tender process is different depending on the contract in question and how the buyer needs to evaluate the bidder. However, specifically in the public sector, they must comply with specific rules and regulations to make the process fair and transparent.

A tender document (or ITT, or tender bid) is the stage in the bidding process where you need to explain how you will deliver the contract, including your technical solutions and pricing proposals. Your company must provide high-quality, persuasive narrative responses to demonstrate why you are best suited to the contract. This is the opportunity to stand out against your competitors and showcase why you are the right company to deliver the contract. NHSE/ICBs will then shortlist the most suitable bidders, before finally selecting a winning tender.

As part of the procurement process, you will be evaluated on both price and quality so that NHSE/ICBs can make an informed decision during the selection process on who is best to deliver the contract. There is no margin for error, and you must get the tender process right. Please note your bid documents are not evaluated solely on the lowest price; you will also be evaluated on a quality, narrative section of the invitation to tender document to demonstrate that you can deliver the services, not simply price competitive.


Tendering is a competition

It is also important to remember the reason behind the tender document and bidding process: it is for the contracting authority to identify the most economically advantageous tender. Simply put, the company that submits the highest quality bid response at the best price is the company the NHSE/ICBs will shortlist, and then award the contract to. Or if it is a framework agreement, the top 5, 10, or more bidders will be awarded a place on the framework; this is very common in certain industries such as construction projects. You must make sure your company stands out from your competitors in the bidding process. By using tender writing services provided by companies such as GPS, you can receive assistance in submitting a successful tender. Research your main competition and then stress how your company differs from others to score the most marks available, which could be through innovations, added value, and price.

GPS can support you throughout the tendering process, helping you complete the selection questionnaire and EOI document, as well as other important tender documents. We can help you to understand exactly what the tender process entails, what the buyer is looking for in the procurement process and the procedures you need to follow to submit a successful tender bid for a product or service.


Price Promise

We regularly benchmark the cost of our services because we are proud of our price promise guarantee. In the unlikely event of you sourcing a genuine like-for-like quote from another provider, please let us know because not only will we match it, but we will also reduce it by another 10%.


If you have any further questions, please contact us and a friendly member of our team will be happy to assist.


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