Route 3 - Contract Implementation - Communication - Communication and Transitional Arrangements
This Station is for Care and Support Services only
Communication with People who Use Services and their Carers
Having finalised and agreed the procurement plan, an organisation should communicate its intentions to people who use the services and also their carers/representatives. It is important that an organisation provides clear and unambiguous information at this stage and that this information is tailored to the particular audience.
In these communications an organisation should explain:
- how long it will take to decide who will provide the service;
- what will happen at different times in the process;
- how people who use the services and their carers will be involved in the process;
- who will make the final decisions and how these will be made;
- (where appropriate) why there may be a change in supplier; and,
- how service provision may change as a result of the procurement process.
An organisation should also provide contact details for further information.
An organisation should ensure that people who use services and also their carers have help to understand the process and what, if anything, they are being asked about. It should also ensure that these people have sufficient time to consider how they might be affected and to formulate their views before having to respond
It is important that this stage of the procurement process is managed successfully to ensure minimum disruption to people who use services and their carers. This will require close co-operation between different teams within an organisation and between it and suppliers.
This is particularly important where the outcome of the procurement exercise involves the transfer of an existing service to a new supplier. This is because there is some potential for the transfer process to be demanding and consume significant amounts of staff time. An organisation should facilitate the transfer of accurate, up to date information to the new supplier and ensure that the handover arrangements are appropriate and fully implemented.
Suppliers will need to satisfy the Care Inspectorate that it can adhere to the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and Regulations and also meet the relevant National Care Standards. The Care Inspectorate can take up to approximately six months to register a new care service. This depends on a range of issues, including provision of a competent application and the complexity of the service being provided.
Where an existing supplier seeks to deliver a new service under the existing registered care services, this should be discussed with the Care Inspectorate. It may be possible to vary the registration to include the new contract. However, consideration would need to be given to: the current conditions of registration; the size of the service; management and staff support arrangements; geography; client group and needs of those people who use services; transferability of staff across the service; staff skills and training; and the aims and objectives of the service.
If a supplier applies to cancel its registration, it is legally required to state whether notice has been given to those people who use the services and their carers about the changes to its service and how their needs will be met if the application to cancel is approved by the Care Inspectorate. An organisation should provide the necessary support and information to a supplier to enable it to meet its legal obligations.
An organisation which is outsourcing a service or bringing a service back in-house will have to meet its legal obligations under the TUPE Regulations. It should, in all such cases, seek legal advice on application of the TUPE Regulations. In other cases involving the transfer of an existing service, an organisation should consider whether it needs to take any action, for example to facilitate the exchange of information between suppliers, should the TUPE Regulations apply.