To:      Executive Director: People and Executive Member for Adult Services, Health &        Housing (Deputy Leader of the Council)


10th December 2021





1          Purpose of Report

1.1       Following approval by the Executive on 31st August 2021 to invite tenders for a new Homecare Framework, a procurement exercise has been carried out under the Light Touch Regime to establish a new Home Care Flexible Framework. Following completion of the procurement exercise, this report seeks approval to appoint successful Home Care providers to the new Framework, commencing 1st April 2022.

1.2       Local Authorities have a duty under the Care Act 2014 to provide care and support services to individuals in their own home. Home Care is defined as a range of services delivered in a person’s own home including, the provision of personal care and practical support necessary to maintain an individual’s health, well-being, hygiene, and safety, improving their independence and increasing their choice and control. Home Care can also prevent or delay the need for long term residential or nursing care.

2          Recommendations

2.1       This report recommends successful Home Care providers (details of the providers can be found in the Confidential Annex of this report) are appointed to the Home Care Flexible Framework for an initial period of 3 years, commencing 1st April 2022, with an option to extend for a further 3 years (1+1+1 or multiples thereof), with pricing also as detailed in the Confidential Annex of this report. Individual packages of care will be “called off” the Framework in line with the terms and conditions.

3          Reasons for Recommendations

3.1       To complete the procurement process for the provision of Home Care services through a Flexible Framework.

3.2       The anticipated benefits of implementing the Flexible Framework are:

·         Compliance with legislation, statutory duties, and the Care Act 2014

·         Ensuring sufficient capacity with a number of providers to meet current and increasing demand

·         Ensuring quality, value for money and affordable community services which focus on individual needs, individual choice, identified outcomes and reablement

·         Supporting timely discharge from hospital and preventing hospital admissions






4          Alternative Options Considered

4.1       Alternative options have been considered and are detailed in the Strategic Procurement Plan.

5          Supporting Information

Commissioning Considerations

5.1       The Care Act 2014 places a duty on Local Authorities to influence and manage the local Home Care market effectively, to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and diverse marketplace, that delivers value for money and excellent outcomes for people.

5.2       Home Care services in Bracknell Forest are currently sourced through the ‘Community Based Support’ framework (CBS). However, due to lack of capacity under the framework there are a number of spot contracting arrangements in place, which is not sustainable and creates challenges in managing price and quality. The CBS framework is due to end on 31st March 2022.

5.3       The Home Care service has seen an increase in demand over the last 18 months due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This is particularly the case in relation to supporting people to remain living at home for as long as possible, avoiding hospital admission and facilitating the swift and timely discharge from hospital to alleviate pressures on the NHS. Analysis of the service also indicates a significant increase in demand for those suffering deficits in memory and cognition. This is supported by national trends in needs analysis and the increasing demands for dementia services. Support with memory and cognition is the most significant group after standard home care.


5.3       The procurement has been undertaken in line with the approach agreed in the Strategic Procurement Plan, approved by the Council’s Executive on 31st August 2021.

5.4       This has ensured that the procurement is compliant with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders, has been carried out in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and that it meets the statutory duties set out in the Care Act, which include ensuring:

- people in need of services have a wide range of choice and are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions about their care

- sustainability of the market and sufficiency of provision

- appropriate oversight of delivery and the accountability of providers

5.13     A Mobilisation & Implementation Group has been set up, including key Bracknell Forest colleagues from commissioning, operations, finance, business insights, legal and procurement to ensure the successful implementation of the new framework.

5.16     As this a flexible framework there is provision for the council to re-open the framework with prior notice to the market. The council will review appropriate thresholds for the opening of the framework to manage demand. The council will review this option at least annually thereby ensuring that demand is met. The Executive approved the recommendation that there is provision for the framework to reopen to enable the council to meet ongoing demand, as detailed in the Strategic Procurement Plan.



6          Consultation and Other Considerations

Legal Advice

6.1       The legal implications of this procurement have been considered in the Strategic Procurement Plan dated 31 August 2021.


Legal are satisfied that the proposals for contract award under the Home Care Support Framework as outlined in this report are in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and the Council’s Contract Standing Orders.

Financial Advice

6.2       The financial impact of this procurement has already been considered in the 2022/23 budget proposals.

Other Consultation Responses

6.3       The views of people who use home care services and their carers have been sought during the commissioning process for the Home Care Flexible Framework. A questionnaire was sent out to 220 people at the start of the process, the feedback was used to develop the service specification, performance management framework and one of the quality questions in the tender application which was then evaluated by two people who use home care services. The commissioning team will consider how to ensure the ongoing involvement of people who use services in the monitoring and review of the Home Care Framework contract.

Equalities Impact Assessment

6.4       An Equalities Impact Screening and full Equality Impact Assessment was completed at the outset of the procurement, as part of the Strategic Procurement Plan. This found that a full screening was not required as the Home Care Framework contracts are expected to have a beneficial impact on those with health and care needs particularly in the protected characteristics of age and disability / long term conditions. Equalities monitoring data has been built into the performance management framework. This will be reviewed as part of the contract monitoring process to identify any positive/negative impact on protected characteristics.

Climate Change Implications

6.6       The recommendations in Section 2 above are expected to have no impact on emissions of CO2.The reason the Council believes that this will have no impact on emissions is that this is not a new service, but the provision of an existing service under a new contract. Although an increase in demand for this service is expected during the contract period, home care providers are also required to identify opportunities to reduce the level of care packages through reablement, strengths-based support and innovative approaches, including telecare and assistive technology. Home care providers were required to respond to this requirement in their tender submission and will be monitored on this through contract management. Whilst there will be a requirement for providers to cover all areas of Bracknell Forest, providers will be encouraged through contract monitoring to be conscious of this area, and to consider developing geographic rounds, which would lead to a reduction in travel time and associated costs.


Contact for further information

Ben Sladden, Commissioning Manager, People Department - 01344 351 938