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Oct 20, 2021

Health and social care tenders are on the rise in the UK as private care for the elderly people and other vulnerable groups is increasingly being shifted into the hands of private companies. Statistics reveal that in 2018 the public sector awarded a range of healthcare contracts amounting to more than £8 billion in value, with close to £7 billion being awarded to SMEs.

A greater number of contract opportunities for the provision of health and social care, assisted living, health support work and such like are going out to tender, meaning opportunities are available for small and start-up health and social support providers wishing to bid for tenders and ultimately grow their business.

It is the norm for contracting authorities to set strict criteria that must be adhered to in terms of competence, professionalism and qualifications. However, this does not stop small establishments that meet the criteria from going up against industry big-guns. 

The next question would be how, therefore, can start-ups or small businesses like mine win a healthcare tender? Keep reading to find out how. 

Accreditation and qualifications - To be in the running to succeed, you must display appropriate accreditations and qualifications or risk incontestable failure. Local councils or health organisations need to know that you are legal and have the right certifications to do the job.

Past experience – This demonstrates your competency. Case studies go a long way in helping you get a foot through the door.

Understand what is required – Be sure to take your time to study and digest exactly what the contractor is looking for. Examine the specifications, break them down if necessary, and be sure to highlight your understanding of the requirements when preparing your bid documents.

Understand your capabilities – Understand the requirements of the contract you are bidding for as this will help in making sure that your organisation’s staff, skills and experience are actually suited for the contract.

Understand the different kinds of care tender opportunities – There are essentially  four types of care tenders that you should acquaint yourself with. These are Framework agreements, Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), Second or Third Tier Provision, and Sub-contracting.

Handling Care Tenders – When preparing your bid, consider integrating your service with other agencies. This will demonstrate your attempt to bolster your service to the contractor and will go in your favour. Also demonstrate the value that you will bring to the communities in which the service will be required by bringing employment or engaging in charity work. Also show that you know how to minimise and mitigate risk in order to gain the contractors confidence in your business.

Show awareness – Demonstrate your businesses understanding and experience of any specific challenges and requirements of service users. This will show that you are in touch with the needs of potential clients. Also, be sure to accentuate the importance of dignity and respect in rendering the service.

Quality – Contracting authorities are generally more interested in getting quality service that meets the needs of the service users. Cost is less important.

Understanding the local authority – Take time to go through the contractors marketing material whether it be website or published material and streamline your bid to the authorities aims and objectives, values etc.

Maximise your efforts – Take time to prepare your bid effectively, be on the pulse of industry changes and innovations and incorporate these into your document.

With this ‘how to’ guide, you can now write a winning document. If you still need further guidance, feel free to contact us and we will gladly assist.

We are coming up with a special Event on February 16th,2024: Mastering the Art of Winning Contracts: Bids, Tenders and for Care Business

This event is specially designed for those looking to navigate and conquer the complex world of Care business bids and contracts.


Our Healthcare Business School also provides a full range of support services for our Clients and will equip you with all the necessary tools to enable you to start-up a fully compliant nursing agency.

Learn more about our Business in a Box packages, which will provide you with all the necessary tools to ensure compliance from day one.

If you need a little additional help and support, then our 1-2-1 coaching will give you access to a dedicated mentor who will guide you through the process of setting up your business.

If you’d like expert advice and guidance or would like to find out more about any of our services, SIGN UP HERE so that we can explore ways of assisting you and get your care agency off to a flying start.

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