Case Study

APMS Service Bid Planning

Client: Anonymous 

Year of completion: 2021

Healthcare Sector: APMS Services 

Project Category: Bid Planning 

Project Detail

A GP practice in a major city approached HealthBid because they were facing a bid for their APMS primary care services.

The bid was around six months away but they wanted to know how we could support them before the tender documents were released.

The Client's Barriers

Word Count

The ideas were not ready to be written into a bid where the word count was sure to be tight.

Lack of Time

The client struggled with time, as the majority of those involved were busy clinical staff.

Preparation

The client required help with preparing and focusing their efforts on the areas that needed the most work.

Our First Steps

Initially, we analysed what was required. By using our expertise of winning similar bids in other parts of the country, it was clear that the practice was in a strong place. They ran a good service and were full of ideas about how to maintain and improve the quality of their service.

However, these ideas were unfocused, and not ready for writing up into a bid where the word count was sure to be tight. In addition, they knew that during the bid itself, they would struggle with time, as the majority of those involved were busy clinical staff.

Our assessment was carried out by Dr Alison Sheppard, one of our team of specialists, who has worked on previous APMS bids, as well as for NHS England’s primary care delivery team.

Following her assessment, we proposed a series of pre-bid workshops to prepare them and help to focus their efforts on areas that needed the most work.

Pre-Bid Workshops

We carried out four workshops with the practice team, each one led by one of the senior members of our team, as well as support from our Bid Managers and Bid Writers. At the end of each workshop, notes were collated and returned to our client for them to review, as well as for use during the bid itself. Each of the workshops resulted in a set of actions for the clients to carry out before the bid itself started, putting them in a stronger position.

Workshop 1 - Service Vision

Our first workshop was designed to ensure that there was a shared vision for the service and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current provision. Whilst there was general agreement that the service was strong, our facilitator found that they had lots of different ideas about the future direction of travel. By focusing on the patient and improving their outcomes, a consensus was agreed.

Workshop 2 - Population Health

Alison facilitated this session, drawing on her own clinical experience. Having a clinician to facilitate a session that was mostly clinically focused helped us to interpret the practice team more clearly, so that the information they discussed could be put into simple terms for the bid.

Workshop 3 - Social Value

Drawing on our experience of social value bidding, we facilitated this workshop with an eye to translate good work that was taking place into a specific set of case studies for use in the bid. Initially, the client team wasn't sure what was meant by social value in the bid context, but over the course of the workshop, it became clear that they were carrying out a number of social value activities already.

Workshop 4 - Solution Design

Our final workshop drew together the previous three into a session focused on designing the service. By drawing on the overarching service vision, we were able to articulate through lines that needed to be present. Combining these with example patient journeys helped the client team to visualise the way in which their service would improve the health and wellbeing of people in that local area.

Project Successes

We can measure the success of this piece of work against our 3 identified benefits of bid planning:

1 – An increased probability of winning

By working with us on planning their bid, our client was ready for the release of the documents, understood their strengths, had mitigations in place for their weaknesses, and now have a strong win strategy in place to increase their probability of winning.

2 – Time saved in the Bid Writing process

Having a clear plan of attack along with a strong win strategy will also cut down the writing time significantly for this bid as responses will be much more targeted with fewer gaps. In addition, because HealthBid carried out the bid planning, we have a detailed knowledge of our client and their business and have formed strong relationships with key stakeholders which will help as we transition from planning to writing the bid.

3 – Improved experience and understanding within your team

Finally, by carrying out this work in advance of the bid, the client’s vision is more settled, and the written work will require fewer last-minute amendments, empowering their internal team to feel more confident and less stressed.

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