Case Study

Public Health Bid Planning

Client: Large Organisation Delivering Wellbeing Services 

Year of completion: 2021

Healthcare Sector: Public Health Services

Project Category: Bid Planning 

Project Detail

HealthBid worked with a new entrant to the public health market to prepare them to bid on a major contract in England. They are a large company with interests across the public sector but had not yet successfully bid on a healthcare contract.

The Client's Barriers

Lack of Experience

The client was a new entrant to the sector with no previous healthcare contract successes.


The service was being commissioned for an area with three separate ICSs which added a layer of complexity.

Initial Scoping

We had a detailed period of scoping our support to our client, in order to make sure that the help we were giving was directly relevant to what they were trying to achieve. It was clear that five areas would be of use:

  • A demographic study of the area covered by the bid.
  • A review of the current state of development of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the area, so these could be woven into the bid.
  • An analysis of a recent innovation in public health, so that the bid could reflect the latest best practice.
  • A review of our client’s capabilities against the commissioner’s aims and objectives.
  • A review of competitors’ capabilities against the same objectives. 

Our Focuses


Understanding the local population is vital to any bid; ultimately all our bid work relates to how people are cared for. Demographic data is available readily but is also from disparate sources and is often complex. Our team of experts set to work reviewing several demographic segments - such as BAME groups, deprived areas, the elderly and people in the criminal justice system. Drawing on multiple sources, they condensed often complex information into a short report.

Integrated Care Systems

Our client knew that how they would support the nascent ICSs in the local area would be key to demonstrating to the commissioner that they were there to support the future direction of healthcare. A review of local ICS arrangements was therefore carried out by our team. Our final report was a short precis of the ICS situation, along with a set of recommendations relevant to the public health bid our client was anticipating.

Innovation in Public Health

In order to understand the latest thinking in public health, we worked with one of our associates, Dr. Alison Sheppard, who is an experienced public health professional and clinician. She reviewed the available literature, and write up a short summary of research carried out by the University of Leeds into how public health could better engage with the police force to improve outcomes for citizens.

Review of Client and Competitor Capabilities

An Important part of formulating a bid strategy is understanding where areas of internal strength and weakness are, and where those of competitors are. This is often encapsulated in a SWOT analysis, but in our experience, these are often too theoretical, and not aligned to the needs of the commissioner. Led by Alison, our team worked with our client to develop a bespoke matrix, showing these strengths and weaknesses specifically against the high level commissioning objectives set out by the local authority seeking to tender this contract.

Project Successes

At the end of the Plan phase which we carried out, our client was able to build a service model that drew on good local data, the best national practice, and a deep commercial understanding of where to position themselves against competitors.

In addition, it allowed particular areas of weakness to be mitigated before the bid was published, giving them time to embed, and for evidence to be gathered.