Decision details

Contract Extension Approval for Speech and Language Therapy Service

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to exercise the 1+1 year contract extension permitted within the current contract conditions for Children and Young People’s Speech and Language Therapy Services.


The Executive Member for Children, Young People & Learning to agrees to

exercise a 1+1 year contract extension effective from 3rd September 2021 to 2nd

September 2023 with a total extension value of £460,000 which represents £230,000

per annum. The total spend for this contract is £1,150,000 (includes 1+1 year


Reasons for the decision:

1.     The continuation of Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Services is required to  meet the needs of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs in line  with the following Statutory Duties.


2.     BHFT contribute to the 20-week Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) Process by completing Statutory Assessments during weeks 6 -12 of the 20 week timeframe.  The local authority has a duty to make sure that an EHC plan is prepared and then  implemented which includes input from Health. 81% of Statutory Assessments  undertaken by BHFT within the last 2 years that have been within the 6-week  timeframe.


3.     Bracknell Forest Council Early Years and SEN wish to maintain stability, continuity  and agree that the 1+1 year extension period is their preferred route.


4.      An extension will allow time to complete a Service Review, undertake further activity  modelling and build on the learning from the Integrated Therapies Project to explore the development of a hybrid approach/model for Children and Young People’s  Integrated Therapy (CYPIT) at East Berkshire and Place (Bracknell Forest) in  partnership with the East Berkshire CCG and BHFT.


5.     The next year will be utilised as a mobilisation/transition year to allow any

improvements or service developments identified during the Service Review to be embedded.


6.     The current service is well established and operates effectively across many levels  and there are no concerns about the quality of the service. Productive contract monitoring arrangements are in place between the council and provider.


7.     There are national concerns around increasing demand for SALT following the  pandemic. To avoid issues developing around waiting times, a move to a blended  service model will support effective service delivery. Clarifications will be included as  part of the contract extension around an ongoing blended delivery model for the remainder of the contract term. COVID-19 has highlighted the critical need for Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (BHFT) to explore and deliver different service options including telephone and online consultations in addition to face to face contacts.


Alternative options considered:

Retendering – a minimum of 9 months would be required to undertake a full procurement exercise with a potential 3-6 month period to transition from the existing provider to a new provider and mobilise new services. 4.2 Not triggering permitted extension – there would not be a service to meet our duties including completing Statutory Assessments in line with the 20-week EHCP Process, significantly impacting the outcomes of Bracknell Forest Children and Young People

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: Anticipated to remain within existing budgets

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Assistant Director: Commissioning

Other reasons / organisations consulted




Contact: Cheryl Eyre, Assistant Director, Education & Learning Email:

Publication date: 04/08/2021

Date of decision: 04/08/2021

Effective from: 13/08/2021

Accompanying Documents: