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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 23rd July, 2012

 

Joint Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety

Providing Supported Accommodation for People with a Learning Disability and/or Physical/Sensory Impairment

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To move forward the process of retendering supported accommodation services and to seek delegated authority for awarding the contract to successful providers.  

Recommendations

1.             It is recommended that Cabinet authorises the Director of Resources and the Director of Social Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Services, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety and the Leader to award the contract(s) for this service following completion of the tender process.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that the Council awards the contract(s) and remains within appropriate timescales for the tender process, thereby ensuring service continuity for residents.  

Background

2.             The Welsh Government's Learning Disability Strategy 2004, issued as statutory guidance under Section 7(1) of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, states that: "Subject to the outcomes of the assessment of needs, people with a learning disability, including people with complex and challenging needs, should normally be able to have the option to live in the community independent of the family home, including having their own tenancy."

3.             As part of their individual care plan, adults with a learning disability can be provided with supported accommodation that enables them to live as full members of the community and reduces the need for institutional care.  In 2007, the Council undertook a tendering exercise to appoint providers of this service.  As a result of that process, three organisations were awarded contracts which provided services to 78 service users in 29 houses across the Vale of Glamorgan. Through these existing contracts, 3,000 hours of shared support and 1,950 hours of individual support are provided each week.  Support provided within the contracts is for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in accordance with the assessed needs of individual service user.

4.             New contracts for the supported accommodation service have to be in place by 8th October 2012.  The Authority's Contract Standing Orders require that contracts with an estimated value of £100,000 or higher should be subject to an appropriate procurement process that ensures value for money, compliance with legislation governing the spending of public money and protecting individuals from undue criticism or allegation of wrongdoing.  The retendering of the supported accommodation service has been designed to ensure that these three principles are fulfilled.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The Council's project management methodology has been utilised to support the project throughout its various stages from initiation to the current position.

6.             The tender process has been managed by a Project Board which includes representation from Social Services, Finance, Housing, Human Resources and Legal Services.  The board has met frequently to allow timely discussions about issues that have arisen within the tender processes.  Informed dialogue has meant that decisions could be agreed which ensured continuing progress of the tender process within required timescales.

7.             The service to be awarded has been split into eight groups.  This service model enables the Council and providers to benefit from economies of scale and flexibility.  Providers have the option of tendering for one or more groups.  It is possible that a provider will tender for all eight groups and, depending on submissions, one provider may be awarded all of them. Groups have been designed to take account of the specific needs of service users and the specialist support they may require.

8.             After the tender process was advertised, the Council received over 50 expressions of interest from providers.  Of these, 32 organisations completed a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).  Following evaluation, 11 providers were invited forward to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage.  This stage had a closing date for submissions of 29th June, 2012 and the Council received completed documentation from 10 providers.  Evaluation of the submissions is ongoing.

9.             Throughout the ITT stage, providers have had access to an online tendering portal.  Available only to those within the ITT stage, this secure site has allowed the Council to ensure consistency; all providers have been privy to the same information in terms of tender documentation, clarification question answers and any new developments within the process.

10.        Providers have been asked to submit their costs for providing the service for each of the groups in which they are interested. Should a provider be interested in more than one grouping, there is the potential for savings as a result of economies of scale.  On this basis, providers have been asked to provide costings both at a standard single group level and, should a provider be successful with more than one grouping, a multi-group cost rate.

11.        For consistency and fairness, providers will firstly be evaluated on their standard cost submission.  Following analysis of the eight groups, only then will multi-group rates apply if a provider is awarded more than one group.

12.        The Quality element of the submission (30%) will cover a number of areas (such as innovation and improvement, transition planning, person-centred planning and behavioural management) that have been weighted appropriately in terms of importance.  All providers were asked to provide written submissions against ten quality questions included within the ITT document.  Their submissions are being assessed by an internal evaluation panel.  Additionally, potential providers will be evaluated on quality issues through an interview and presentation process in the week commencing 23 July, 2012.  Providers will be asked to present their proposals, respond to a specific presentation topic and answer a series of formal questions to the evaluation panel.  These responses will be evaluated and scored by the panel.

13.        Following evaluation of overall quality, quality will be combined with the provider financial score per group to identify the preferred provider for each of the eight groups available.  At that point and if applicable, multi-group savings will be applied with successful providers to ensure that the Council achieves the most cost advantageous solution.

14.        The successful organisation(s) will have to be informed during August so that providers are in place by 8th October, 2012.  The contract is to be awarded initially for five years, with an option to extend for a further two years in negotiation with the successful providers.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

15.        These services will be funded jointly from within the Social Services budget and the Supporting People grant.  The total budget for current provision is £4.3m.

16.        The process of monitoring the service will be undertaken by staff within the relevant Directorates, making appropriate use of corporate expertise and processes in areas such as procurement, finance and HR where required.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.        Advice from Legal Services has been followed regarding the TUPE and procurement issues surrounding this proposal and further advice will be sought throughout the remainder of process, together with input from HR. 

18.        Colleagues in Legal Services have been involved to support the process and to advise on contentious issues that have arisen, to mitigate the risk of potential challenge to the process undertaken.

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20.        The process has allowed for interested parties from the independent and third sector to engage should they wish to do so.  Potential providers have been asked to supply evidence of their commitment to equal opportunities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.        Key objectives of the Council addressed by this report are:

·               "To make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full";

·               "To manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its service aims".

Policy Framework and Budget

22.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

23.        Service users and representative organisations have been included appropriately as part of the procurement process.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24.        Social Care and Health.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Carys Lord

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Strategy and Supporting People Manager, Housing Division

Lawyer

 

Responsible Officers:

Philip J. Evans, Director of Social Services

Sian Davies, Director of Resources

 

 

 

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