Case Study

WCTS Leeds City Council

Client: Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service

Year of completion: 2021 

Healthcare Sector: Mental Health

Project Category: Bid writing & management

Project Detail

HealthBid and Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS) are longstanding partners. We have worked together since late 2019, supporting them in their tendering needs due to a lack of capacity, resource, and tender experience through being a small mental health service provider.

 

Brought to Market Engagement stage in March 2021, this project was Therapy and Counselling Services for Women
in Leeds. As the incumbent provider, WCTS engaged HealthBid’s support for the Market Sounding Exercises, which were short tender-like responses to discuss how they would approach the service. The tender was later released in October 2021, including similar questions to that of the Market Sounding Exercises, but requiring a significantly higher level of detail and a substantial Social Value element.

The Client's Barriers

Lack of Time

Limited time and resources to appropriately write and manage a bid whilst delivering a vital service to the women of Leeds.

Preparation

The client had little experience in preparing and project managing a bid.

Lack of Understanding

The client lacked an understanding of the complexities involved within the general tender process.

Our First Steps

HealthBid’s knowledge and experience of bid management were essential to WCTS. We understand the complexities
of taking on the challenges associated with bids. Bid administration is built into our project timelines, enabling clients with fewer resources to submit excellent, compliant content, on time, every time.

We were able to lead WCTS smoothly through this unusual tender process that would otherwise have been a significant challenge to their time and resource.

We delivered tailored, comprehensive bid management support alongside compelling content creation from the start of this unusually complex procurement exercise to suit the specific needs of WCTS and the tender requirements.

This included portal management, clarification question management, support on tender documentation and certificates, writing and editing of the tender responses and submission on their behalf.

Our Focuses

Combining our in-depth knowledge of WCTS, their inexperience in bidding generally, and of this specific opportunity from working together on previous projects, we began this project from a position of strength, ensuring an excellent foundation to build on.

Social Value Portal

Immediately, we provided proactive support on areas that we knew were unknown to WCTS prior to the project, before issues or stress occurred. For example, we walked them through the requirements of the Social Value Portal, making suggestions and recommendations based on our previous experience of supporting National Themes, Outcomes, and Measures (TOMs) commitments.

Flexibility

By understanding that this project would be delivered alongside their day-to-day service delivery, we were able to be flexible, accommodating WCTS’ busy schedules while they continued frontline service delivery. This included measures such as arranging project meetings to meet WCTS need and supporting out of normal working hours communications where it enabled an efficient, productive working relationship.

Gap Analysis

Prior to the Pink Team, we conducted a comprehensive gap analysis exercise using our existing knowledge and dedicated WCTS bid library to highlight key areas that required more detail or had no previous content. This extensive pre-meeting work ensured that we delivered a targeted, condensed Pink Team that guided WCTS’ thinking, removing stress and minimising the time spent away from delivering their service. Similarly, we deviated from our usual Red Team process, receiving track changes to the written responses prior to the meeting.

Service 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

The main success of this project was to support a well- deserving client that genuinely makes a difference to their service users lives to submit a compliant, compelling tender response, which they would not have been able to do without considerable stress and difficulties if not for our support.

We successfully reduced the time they needed to spend on the tender project, enabling them to focus their attention, rightfully, on the therapy and counselling services that they deliver for the women of Leeds. Their inexperience of tendering would also have meant an extensive amount of stress, which we minimised by managing the whole tender process for them in an efficient and streamlined way.

This included tender response writing, editing, portal and clarification question management, and the often- intimidating portal upload.

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