Our ambition is to challenge existing approaches and suggest solutions to local authorities and their providers which will offer more effective child focussed services, fewer failed placements better outcomes for children and more cost-effective services.

This will be a highly topical interactive live Zoom broadcast with an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. It will consider the impact of recent Cabinet Office guidance on procurement during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and the longer-term effect of COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 is likely to mean that in the medium-term local authorities have more demand and less money so better value for money is a key requirement.

This webinar is designed for commissioners, finance managers and lawyers in the public sector, providers and their advisors. It is given by an acknowledged expert in commissioning and delivering procurement for children.
This live and interactive session will cover the following:

  • A technical analysis of how to procure quality services for children in care. The session will provide examples of effective approaches at which offer more affordable cost (e.g. 15% cost reductions) and encourage providers to increase market capacity.
  • Current commissioning and procurement patterns and the consequences – single purchase ‘spots’, limited ‘block’ purchasing, insufficient provision, limited provider participation in frameworks/dynamic purchasing models and unaffordable price rises.
  • Why is there so much mistrust between commissioners and providers? What does a better model look like and the path to its delivery – acknowledges co-dependency, honesty, mutual openness and trust and understands what are shared and what are different interests. The procurement framework, the flexibilities and constraints of the public procurement regime.
  • Designing and shaping a different model and procurement documents which would encourage market development and how the right model could deliver better outcomes for children at a reduced fee with a more sustainable income stream for providers and increased financial certainty for local authorities.
  • Innovative approaches, what could they look like – single open platform for providers to become accredited, small limited risk pilots for hard to place children, experimenting with alternative approaches, such as small flexible committed blocks with provider commitment to invest at agreed fee rates, or cost volume or even other options?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each approach?
  • Typical current contract conditions - why providers are put off by current procurement models and what will encourage them to bid and offer to increase capacity at an affordable cost.
  • Does the public procurement regime apply to the purchase of children’s services? DfE’s position is that it does not apply to children with special educational needs (Operational Guide on High Needs Funding 2019/20).
  • Purchasing flexibilities and the ‘light touch’ regime under sections 74-77 of the public procurement regime; the Crown Commercial Guidance on the ‘light touch’ regime and achieving sound procurement.
  • Use of urgency procedures because of COVID-19 - Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and procurement policy notes from the Crown Commercial Office.

(this is a repeat of the same event which was sold out in October 2020)

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