Rob in the Hot Seat

Comment

Rob in the Hot Seat

In April we welcomed new member to the HealthBid team as Rob joined us as our second Business Development Manager. Rob lives in South Yorkshire and enjoys mountain biking, watching Marvel films and Italian cuisine. As ever, we've interviewed him on a wide variety of significant subjects....

What is your full name?

Robert William Furness

What causes are you passionate about?

Cancer research – I support the charity, ‘Children with Cancer’.

Sum up your day so far in four words.

Networking, cold-calling, business development

If you could be anybody for a day, who would you be and why?

Lewis Hamilton – so I could drive his amazing car as well as he does!

What was the last thing you Googled?

The Weeknd’s ‘Call Out Your Name’.

Excellent song! Next, name your favourite type of…. pizza?

I will have to go for ham and pineapple, with green jalapeños and olives. I’ll normally order a pizza then customise it, and I think this one is good mix of salty, spice and sweet. 

On the subject of food, how do you feel about cheese?

I love cheese

Any particular favourites?

Snowdonia Black Bomber.

Agreed, this is a fab cheese - could you eat a whole round though?

Probably! Though with the right selection of accompaniments such as crackers, cured meats, sundried tomatoes….

Top meal! Have you ever lived abroad? Do you speak any languages?

No.

Where’s the furthest you have ever travelled to?

Cuba – Havana in particular. We went to see the sights, including the cigar making process which was really interesting.

Sounds an incredible trip! And now for The Pub Quiz question: which film sequel was released yesterday, based on a famous comic book series and starring a witty superhero?

[Without hesitation] Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin. I love Marvel.

Quick answer! What is your favourite Marvel film?

Avengers: Infinity War.

If you were an animal what would you be?

Hawk

Can I ask why?

To fly – I’ve had an enduring dream since childhood that I could fly.

Excellent reasoning! And finally… name an interesting fact about yourself

I helped build the Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter Studios, including the Grand Hall. I also met Robert Downey Jr as he visited the Studios when he was filming the first Sherlock Holmes film.

Amazing! Thanks Rob!

Comment

Three Tips for Writing a Successful APMS Bid

Comment

Three Tips for Writing a Successful APMS Bid

At HealthBid we have written and reviewed a large number of APMS bids over the last few months. With a large number of GPs operating under this type of arrangement, it is vital that primary care organisations understand how to write a great bid to either retain their current contract, or look to expand into a new practice. Here are HealthBid’s three top tips for winning this type of work.

Be Organised

The number one issue we see with losing bids is that the bidding organisation was not organised. Organisation is not just a question of getting the bid in on time – although of course this is important – it is also good preparation, and giving the bid enough time to be reviewed and refined. Therefore, there are some key dates to consider:-

Before the bid is released – gather key documents that you can be sure you will be asked for. These include evidence of your CQC status, your business continuity plan, your accounts and other documents commonly asked for as part of the tender process. Identify who will write the bid – including considering outsourcing. Make sure that you understand how the commissioner’s portal works.

Within 1 week of the release – have a meeting to agree how you will deliver the service, with clinicians, managers and your finance team. Make sure that everyone has read and understood what is being asked for. Go back to the commissioner with any questions you have.

No later than 1 week before submission – complete draft one, and have a review team that sits and reads it thoroughly, suggesting amendments. Again, this can be outsourced to give an external opinion on your work

No later than 1 day before submission – upload your final draft, along with attachments. Almost all portals allow you to amend at any point before deadline, so you still have enough time for last minute changes. However, uploading the day before submission means that your bid will not be interrupted by any portal hiccups.

Understand Innovation in GP Services

Commissioners are always looking for interesting ideas, and bids are often won or lost based on the score on innovation questions. Be bold – the contract will be for many years, and you don’t want to look like you are standing still.

There are lots of great resources describing primary care innovations online – this document from NHS England shows some of the great work that is out there in practical, practice based examples - https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/12/examples-innovation-gp.pdf

Don’t Make Assumptions about your Competition

Whenever we write a bid for a client, we always assume we are up against multiple, well organised, innovative competitors. Why? Because it keeps us on our toes! We advise you to do the same. You may know that your competitors run poor services, or that they do not have a good reputation for innovation. However, the commissioners do not necessarily know this, and your competitors certainly won’t be telling them! By assuming you are up against a strong bidder, it will help you to keep your bid sharp and focused.

Writing APMS bids is tricky, but by following these three tips, you will be well on the way to a strong bid. And of course, if you need a bit more help, then get in touch with us here at HealthBid, and we can have a chat – call Laura on 07341 338200, email info@healthbid.co.uk or visit the contact us page.

Comment

Women in Healthcare

Comment

Women in Healthcare

With today being International Women’s Day and a large proportion of the HealthBid Office made up of women, we’ve written a post on the incredible contribution that women have made over the course of the last two centuries to UK healthcare. From Elizabeth Garrett Anderson to Ruby Wax, we’ll be discussing the importance of these individuals’ in informing debates on both physical and mental health.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917)

Pictured above

Known as the UK’s first female doctor, EGA strived to become a physician despite being turned down by two hospitals to complete her medical training. Recognising that she could instead train as an apothecary, she set up her first practice in 1865; later going to Paris and qualifying as a doctor in 1870. As well as supporting her sister – Millicent Fawcett - in her leadership of the suffragette movement, EGA encouraged her own daughters to lead professional lives and in part inspired the establishment of the NHS Leadership Programme.

Marie Stopes (1880-1958)

Author of ‘Married Love’, Marie Stopes pioneered the first forms of contraception for women and her significance is proven by the numerous extant Marie Stopes Clinics throughout the UK.

Dr Helen Boyle (1869–1957)

A leading psychiatrist, Dr Boyle made it her life’s work to improve provision for those in the early stages of mental health problems. She founded the Lady Chichester Hospital for the Treatment of Early Mental Disorders in 1905 until the NHS took the site over in 1948. The Hospital was ground-breaking in its defining principles, that there ‘should be provision for the treatment of women by women’.

Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005)

Known as the founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Saunders initially trained as a nurse and later as a doctor, and first coined the term ‘total pain’ to refer to physical, mental and spiritual distress. She founded the first ever hospice in Sydenham, Kent and made an invaluable contribution to the concept of pain management.

Baroness Barbara Castle (1910-2002)

A Labour MP, Castle spearheaded the 1970s campaign to abolish private provision in the NHS, which allowed those who could afford to do so to ‘skip the queue’ for healthcare provision.

Jacqui Dyer MBE (c. 1961-)

Highlighting mental health inequality and vice-chair of the Mental Health Taskforce, Dyer contributed to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. As a member of the advisory panel for the Mental Health Act, Dyer will help investigate exactly why a disproportionately large proportion of BME persons are detained under the Act.

Baroness Susan Greenfield (1950-present)

Baroness Greenfield is a prominent neuroscientist and former Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain – a laboratory dedicated to scientific research. As a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University, she leads a team exploring Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. She is a leading proponent of the view that technological development is directly changing people’s minds.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar (1942-)

Professor of Medicine and Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Dame Kumar is a leading light in the education of medical students, refugee doctors and doctors at various stages of their career.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, DBE, Chief Medical Officer for England (1949-)

Davies advises the government on medical matters and regularly speaks on a global basis on issues surrounding Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). Her 2013 book, ‘The Drugs Don’t Work: A Global Threat’ highlighted the incredible risk posed by the overuse of antibiotics and their resultant decreasing effectiveness.

 Ruby Wax (1953-)

Initially known as a TV presenter and entertainer, Wax later gained a Master’s degree in cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness from Oxford and has written several books on the subject of mental health. She has inspired the establishment of ‘Frazzled Cafés’ in collaboration with Marks and Spencer UK-wide, which offer attendees the opportunity to discuss their anxieties in a safe and worry-free space.

 

Sources:

https://www.uclh.nhs.uk/aboutus/Campaignsandcharities/EGAHospitalCharity/Pages/BriefBiographicalHistoryofElizabethGarrettAnderson.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/stopes_marie_carmichael.shtml

https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/H%20Boyle%20Poster%20Crest%20Final%20A3.pdf

http://www.stchristophers.org.uk/about/damecicelysaunders

http://navigator.health.org.uk/content/barbara-castle-secretary-state-health-and-social-services-campaigned-abolish-pay-beds-nhs

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/08/jacqui-dyer-race-mental-health-act-black-people-detentions-inequality

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/apr/30/science.highereducation

https://www.ageing.ox.ac.uk/people/view/26

http://www.women.qmul.ac.uk/virtual/women/atoz/kumar.htm

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/sally-davies

https://www.frazzledcafe.org/

Image of EGA - https://goo.gl/y3ddGZ

Comment

Comment

Win for HealthBid Client

Late last year, we had the opportunity to work with an established HealthBid client to shape elements of their response to a Healthy Lifestyles bid in the Midlands. This was a really enjoyable piece of work for a client with whom we have developed a great relationship; they trust us to deliver.

We were able to take the essence of all the good content produced for previous bids with them as a base and to craft some tailored pieces for the new tender, with the added bonus of previous tender scoring to improve the response. We really picked out the benefits our client would bring to the commissioners and local population. It was so good to hear today that they’d been selected as the new service provider!

Whilst a lot of our work is writing full bids, we often work with clients during the bid process like this, so that we can bring our skills to a project. To find out more about how we could help your organisation, get in touch!

Comment

Justine Allan - Interview

1 Comment

Justine Allan - Interview

Since our interview with Senior Bid Manager, Darren O’Meara, our team have continued to deliver an abundance of winning bids. This week we’ve interviewed fellow SBM, Justine Allan.

Whilst at HealthBid, she has managed a variety of healthcare related bids such as patient transport, integrated urgent care and healthy lifestyle services and has supported major wins UK-wide throughout her career. Justine likes to bring key concepts to life through graphics as well as through writing. We caught up with Justine during a gap in her busy schedule to discuss her approach to bidding, including her co-ordination of complex projects involving multiple stakeholders.

 

1.     Congratulations on your latest stream of wins, Justine! You’ve worked across an incredible number of tenders – first of all, could you fill us in on the service areas you covered during your time as a bid management professional?

Thank you! I’ve worked in bidding for over fifteen years; covering roles such as Bid Excellence Manager, Group Solutions Advisor and Bid Manager. I’ve worked across construction, marketing and customer communication, patient transport, courier and healthcare communications. During this time I’ve led business development activities, co-ordinated best practice in national and local bid teams, delivered roadshows and Subject Matter Expert (SME)/bid writing training, and of course produced winning bids! Most of my experience lies in the healthcare sector; I’m especially invested in every single bid knowing it can make a real difference to people’s wellbeing.

 

2.     Considering this huge variety of subject areas, do you have a common approach when first presented with the ITT documents? Do you have a set timeline for a bid process with reference to review meetings?

When ITT documents are produced, I make a point of reading absolutely everything supplied, cover to cover. I enjoy planning and organising bids, and my initial focus is to understand the compliance and quality requirements, deadlines and communication channels for each project.  I always use a bid tracker – no matter how small or large the bid; this document lies at the core of my bid management.

A key feature of an effective bid process is the Pink Team - I work to arrange this with relevant SMEs as soon as possible in the bid prep window. I use this meeting to make sure everybody understands the commissioner pack, the timescales and the input required to build a winning bid, whilst extracting win themes. This SME contribution is tracked and chased throughout the response build period.

The Pink Team will also see a date for the Red Team established, which will allow key SMEs and neutral reviewers to consider a near final draft of each response, prior to final submission.

Following Pink Team, I work with HealthBid writers; leading storyboarding sessions and allocating tasks.

Constantly mindful of the limited nature of bidding timescales, I also meticulously project manage the interim period between the Pink and Red Team to ensure that everyone keeps their promises, and the information generated is accurate and of high quality. Using agreed communication routes with key contributors, I will deliver status updates to inform gap filling, actions and monitor any risks for early mitigation. Iterative drafts are produced for consistent review - building quality, and ensuring alignment with client expectations.

All content received and generated is consistently filed using our set templated structures - I’m an ambassador for this consistency which assures version control and maximises efficiency.

 

 3.     You’ve recently finished working on a significant project, with a considerable number of stakeholders - when faced with these bids how do you co-ordinate multiple contributions and present coherent responses?

I make a point of noting each SME who will contribute to the process as early as possible in the bid timeline. This includes how each expert wants to be communicated with and their availability through the bid process. I will brief them during the Pink Team and set early milestones to allow for a single voice throughout the bid response.

Underpinning this approach, I have a designated bid workbook to indicate who is available to give content, their area of expertise and who they’re linked to in their team. I agree assignment of a single owner at the client side to co-ordinate the respective members of the team e.g. Information Technology so as to streamline the feedback provided.

 

4.     Your use of graphics in bids is very impressive – do you have a particular rationale when deciding whether to use these graphics alongside a response?

I’m a firm believer in simplifying messages through graphics, and first worked with them when I was a Bid Excellence Manager at a respected project management consultancy. At this point, bidding was moving from more manual presentation and submission – sometimes commissioners even specified hand-written documents and hand-delivered submission - to a more innovative and online-based process. Graphics were then becoming real currency in expressing concepts in an interesting way; adding diversity to what were previous entirely written documents. Whilst at a branding and graphics agency, I also worked proactively alongside InDesign experts to present engaging bids which allowed concepts of a service model to be translated visually to a single page. Altogether, the innovation of the bidding process has allowed more flexibility in bid presentation; permitting us to highlight key messages and make it more of an interesting task for commissioners to evaluate a submission.

 For example, I often use graphics to make long lists more engaging, to show relationships, illustrate flows of information and visually present patient pathways. I also use graphics to convey more complex messages as it allows simplification of a particular concept.

 

5.     You’ve worked on tenders which have often been subject to change during the writing process –question meanings can be changed according to CQ responses and even word counts can be amended, all at short notice. How do you react to such changes?

I’ve overseen many projects subject to change during the process! It’s really important to remain open-minded, thick skinned, flexible and efficient in the face of these unexpected changes. Clarification questions must be circulated to all key stakeholders in a timely fashion, emergency calls and meetings may be necessary, and long sleepless nights could feature. Moreover, as a bid professional, the ability to avoid dwelling on issues and simply resolve any problems that arise is incredibly important; the supportive environment at HealthBid is a massive bonus here. Any of our team can be affected by such changes during any given month and flexibility is key to make sure we meet the one constant; the final submission deadline. Our unique Bidding Engine model gives us resource to surge when workload unexpectedly grows at short notice.

 

6.     Agreed! It’s obvious that you’ve obviously cultivated a proven method to maximise the chance of winning bids – what does each new success mean to you?

I am extremely competitive, and I buy in to every bid I write; it matters to me what the result is. Wins are extremely gratifying, but whether win or lose I analyse any feedback from commissioners working to improve at the very next opportunity. I love receiving client feedback too, it shapes my own personal growth and allows me to feed learnings and successes back to the team.

Thanks Justine!

 

If you need assistance at any stage of the bidding process, give our Business Development Manager, Laura Moore, a call on 07341 338200.

1 Comment

<3 Bidding: How HealthBid can help grow your business

Comment

<3 Bidding: How HealthBid can help grow your business

Here at HealthBid, we recognise that businesses seeking to expand – whether they be private SMEs or larger trusts - can find the bidding process a difficult task. Both types of organisation can lack the resource to commit to this time-consuming process alongside their everyday working commitments, and bidding can be simply regarded as laborious. This post will show how we can take the stress out of this business development process, so you can enjoy the process. Aptly enough for a month which is punctuated by Valentine’s Day, we know and love the bidding process; and actively work to maximise our client’s winning potential. We want to ensure that that the companies we work with do not fear the procurement process, but rather value the opportunity to eloquently express their ability to commissioners.

As proof of our commitment to the bidding process, our experience, combined with our collaborative ethos and proven methodology allow us to utilise our experience and tailor our process to our client's requirements.

Experience

The individual experience of our team members means that we have a raft of bidding expertise on a collective level. Our personnel, including our Bid Director and Bid Managers have an impressive background in managing projects, worth millions to the NHS and the private sector. Taken together, this experience and ethos means that our clients maximise their opportunity to win a bid.

Ethos

Unlike many other bidding organisations who operate as a sole entity, we work on a collaborative and transparent basis. The Bid Engine unites an impressive team consisting of a variety of bid management professionals, who work across a range of areas, from Children’s Services to Patient Transport Services. This means we can offer a consistent bidding service throughout every stage of the bid’s timeline.

Methodology

Capitalising on our ethos and experience, our review process allows us to fine tune business development proposals. A Pink Team allows us to get to know organisations, developing win themes and harnessing the knowledge and expertise of our clients to channel into the final bid. The Red Team, i.e. a final review with a client, enables us to fully develop the story that a business is trying to tell, identifying themes and key information to refine the bid.

Taken together, these three characteristics of our company curb the stress that many of our clients may otherwise feel when approaching a procurement process. We actively enjoy managing projects, and articulately expressing a client’s winning potential.

If you need assistance at any stage of the bidding process, give our Business Development Manager, Laura Moore, a call on 07341 338200.

 

Comment

New Year, New You?

Comment

New Year, New You?

Refresh Your Bidding Model

It’s the month of resolutions. On a personal level, we are all adept at taking some time in January to consider the year just gone and how we might do things better looking forward. Indeed, the classic – be more active, eat less chocolate – makes its 2018 (re)appearance on my list!

However, it might also be the time to think about making some tangible change on an organisational level. Could your approach to bidding do with a refresh?

When it comes to winning public sector work, we find our clients commonly turn to HealthBid because their previous procurement model has been;

  • Resource Draining – compliant, high quality bids commonly require the input of a number of Subject Matter Experts (SME) for content and robust project management to keep the tender on track. Often this means pulling people off their ‘day job’ to help get the bid over the line.
  • Time Demanding – volume of work combined with restrictive deadlines means bidding can be hugely demanding on time. Especially if it comes as an addition to your usual responsibilities, evenings and weekends can become dedicated to tender preparation.
  • Overly Complicated - Without clear lines of responsibility (e.g. a dedicated Bid Manager or Bid Team), project management and action ownership can become blurred and unnecessarily complex; a classic ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situation. 
  • Under Resourced – if opportunities drop at similar times it may be that just one Project Manager/Team is having to manage several tender submissions at once, without giving each bid the dedicated attention it needs to facilitate a high-quality submission.
  • Technically Driven – whilst the technicalities of service delivery are essential, people too often forget that bidding is all about sales! Without expert writers who are experienced at writing engaging and exciting narratives for Commissioners, the quality of your submission can be jeopardised.   

All, some or just one of these factors can result in a needlessly complex and stressful tender process and ultimately, consistently low win rates. If you’ve found yourself relating to any of the above, it might be time to think differently about your bidding model. Here, HealthBid can help.

We offer a number of services, all of which are guaranteed to inject efficiency, energy and quality back into your bids and improve your chances of success. These range from supporting you through the whole process of winning work to offering additional capacity and a review services.

HealthBid are so successful because we do things differently. Using our unique BidEngine Model, your bid always gets team attention, never being placed solely with one person. Bringing together fantastic project managers, strong strategic director input and talented writers on every project means we always deliver incredibly high-quality work. As specialists, dedicated solely to working in Health and Social Care, our model is also reinforced by an unrivalled level of sector knowledge.

If you think it’s time for a change in your bidding model, give our Business Development Manager call on 07341 338200.  Laura can tell you more about who we are, what we do and how we can help you win more work in the public sector this year!

Comment

Tooth Decay in Children: ‘…a wholly preventable disease’

Comment

Tooth Decay in Children: ‘…a wholly preventable disease’

Following our recent post on the Sugar Tax, this week the HealthBid blog considers some startling figures recently released by the Local Government Association (LGA) on the state of children’s oral health in England. The report highlights;

  • The equivalent of 170 operations per day are performed to remove multiple teeth in children.
  • There were a total of 42, 911 under-18 multiple teeth extractions in 2016/17 – costing the NHS £36.2 million.
  • This is a 17% increase on 2012/13 figures and a total cost increase of £165 million since 2012.  

The cost to the NHS is so staggering because the severity of the decay means treatment must be delivered in hospitals under general anaesthetic. Indeed, tooth extraction is the largest cause of hospital admission in 5-9 year olds.

Representing most UK Dentists, chairman of British Dental Association (BDA) said in reaction to the new figures; “These statistics are a badge of dishonour for health ministers, who have failed to confront a wholly preventable disease.” 

Experts suggest figures are likely a result of excessive consumption of sugary food and drink, coupled with poor oral hygiene. The BDA reports that children aged 11 – 18 get 40% of their added sugars from soft drinks. Similarly, the Faculty of Dental Surgery cites evidence that current intakes of sugar for children in the UK grossly exceeds recommendations.

Whilst it is of course essential to consider intersecting socio-economic factors, tooth decay is largely preventable through reduction in sugar consumption, a regular brushing routine and sufficient exposure to fluoride. Given a widespread Public Health focus on self-care, championing self-driven, non-clinical solutions to health problems, it would be unsurprising to see oral health take a prominent role in Children’s Services commissioning going forward. Especially where improved education and behavioural intervention can alleviate current pressures on an overstretched NHS.

Having written, managed and won a number of Children’s Services tenders over that past few years for our clients, HealthBid have a robust understanding of Commissioners expectations when it comes Children and Young Peoples (CYP) health. If you are interested in finding out more about what we do and how we can help you win more public sector work, give our Business Development Manager Laura Moore a call on 07341 338200.

Sources

BBC News - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42662425

BDA - https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Child-decay-stats-badge-of-dishonour-for-ministers

Faculty of Dental Surgery - https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/search/#SearchTerm=childrens%20oral%20health

Gov.uk - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-oral-health-an-evidence-informed-toolkit-for-local-authorities

The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/13/dentists-warn-of-child-tooth-decay-crisis-as-extractions-hit-new-high

The Independent - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/uk-sugar-addiction-nhs-rotten-teeth-children-operations-cost-food-drink-diet-a8156151.html

LGA - https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/170-operations-day-remove-rotten-teeth-children

Sugar Smart Campaign - https://www.sugarsmartuk.org/about/

Comment

...And Another Win!

Comment

...And Another Win!

We're proud to announce another win for the HealthBid team. We have been working with Greenworks Controlled Environments, who provide climate control and air conditioning, to support writing a bid for services at Addenbroke's Hospital.

These services include the maintenance of vital air conditioning and other refrigeration systems at the Trust. The bid was vital for Greenworks, as they had provided the contract for a number of years, and so it represented an important part of their business.

Mike Pearson, who managed the bid for HealthBid, said, "This was a technical bid for a fantastic client. As a team, we worked with Greenworks over a long period of time, understanding them as a business and people. We developed key win themes, and then articulated these in a clear, well-written bid. We're really pleased to have won this piece of work."

If there's a bid that we can help you with get in touch.

Comment

The Energy Drink: A Beverage Too Sweet to Be True?

Comment

The Energy Drink: A Beverage Too Sweet to Be True?

The recent news that Waitrose will be banning the sale of energy drinks to under-16s from 5th March has reopened the debate on the health impact of such drinks. In this post, we’ll consider the science and developments around these beverages.

The Science

Energy drinks contain caffeine and sugar, with the caffeine resulting in a spike in heartbeat and sugar boosting glucose levels, though also going on to produce debilitating sugar crashes. A shocking 78% of energy drinks contain levels of sugar which exceed a child’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). This content is exacerbated by the fact that the typical serving sizes of energy drinks are larger than similar sugar-sweetened drinks. Alongside this, the ‘energy’ provided by such drinks is enhanced by the addition of high amounts of caffeine, derived from the guarana plant. With the RDA of sugar and caffeine at around 30g and 400mg respectively, the fact remains that these energy drinks contain much more than this.

Lobbies for Controlled Consumption

2017 saw the true results of sugar consumption publicised, with the rise of reduced and sugar-free diets attributable to this scientific evidence. Jamie Oliver’s programme ‘Sugar Rush’ explored the nature of children’s sugar consumption, and highlighted energy drinks as particularly high in sugar. The fact that energy drink brands actively target such young consumers to buy their goods means that one in three British under 18 year olds say that they regularly consume energy drinks. Such a prohibition would therefore have a significant impact for a large proportion of young people.

Following this, he recommended that a so-called ‘sugar tax’ be introduced and for all such drinks to be banned in their sale to under-16s. Oliver aligns with the teaching union, NASUWT in his comments, who have even gone so far as to label the drinks ‘readily available legal highs’. This has resulted in Waitrose leading prohibition of these drinks for younger generations and will act to encourage other supermarkets to similarly limit their sale of such beverages.

The Future

2018 will see a UK-wide ‘Sugar Tax’ introduced, and this levy will see soft drink brands who produce drinks containing 5g/100ml contribute c. £520 million to sports funding in primary schools. This has had a knock-on effect for drinks companies such as A.G. Barr, who have replaced half of the sugar in their popular ‘Irn Bru’ beverage with the controversial sweetener Aspartame in order to avoid this tax. However, the outcry against this substitute has been characterised by a petition signed by over 40,000 people. Therefore, it seems that the backlash against such solutions mean that such manufacturers may need to consider paying up, or placate consumers using other methods.

 

Sources

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/how-much-caffeine-before-i-end-up-in-the-er/267129/

http://fuse.ac.uk/research/briefs/Should%20we%20be%20concerned%20about%20energy%20drinks%20and%20young%20peoples%20health.pdf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15982904

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/average-energy-drink-contains-more-than-an-adults-recommended-daily-allowance_uk_5a32a3dde4b00dbbcb5b9e2e

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/04/waitrose-ban-sales-high-caffeine-energy-drinks-children-16/

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/nutrition/2018-uk-sugar-tax.html

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/shoppers-panic-buy-irn-bru-ahead-of-recipe-changing-to-avoid-sugar-tax-a3732051.html

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seafrost/2202643084/

Comment

Comment

Win for HealthBid Client

We're always excited here at HealthBid when we can share news of a win for one of our clients, and this win is no exception!

One of our longest standing clients, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT), has been successful in their bid for Health Visiting services in Warwickshire. These services are for children and their families from birth through to school age, and provide a vital public health function, as well as immediate support for families at an often stressful time.

These services complement existing school nursing services in Coventry and those that SWFT won in Solihull earlier in the year, giving an opportunity for innovation across the West Midlands.

Glen Burley, SWFT's Chief Executive commented, "The teams are absolutely delighted to be able to continue to provide health visiting services across Warwickshire and have been key to delivering a plan that meets the requirements Warwickshire County Council have set out for the local area."

The process was a competitive dialogue. We supported both in preparing the team for the presentations and with the creation of the final bid documents. 

To find out how we can help your organisation to win your next bid, get in touch with Laura, our Business Development Manager on 07341 338200.

Comment

Comment

2018 Procurement Thresholds Confirmed

All government procurement over a certain value in the UK must follow EU regulations around transparency and fairness. 

The NHS is no different, and so healthcare contracts are subject to EU procurement law. The threshold values for procurements are updated regularly to keep them in line with inflation or any other legislative change.

The 2018 values have been confirmed as follows:-

Supply, Services and Design Contracts - £118,133

Works Contracts - £4,551,413

Social and other specific services - £615,278

These values are for the whole contract lifetime, and exclude VAT.

The deifinition of a social service is complex, and is based around CPV codes. A list of these can be found here

Comment

Comment

Why Outsource Your Bid?

With Christmas just around the corner and your leave calendar starting to look much busier, we couldn’t think of a better time to talk about the benefits of outsourcing.

There are several reasons why using HealthBid will benefit you, both during the festive season and beyond. Our top three are;

  • Dedicated Capacity
  • Professional Project Management   
  • Expert Writing  

Capacity

Managing and writing a high-quality bid requires substantial time and resource investment. Our clients often come to us because of the increasing tension they have managing their bid processes alongside their day jobs. HealthBid can take the pressure off.

We essentially become your own in-house bid team, giving your tender the undivided attention it needs to succeed. Even as ‘outsiders’ we create bespoke and tailored bids which genuinely reflect who you are and what you can do. Indeed, we are proud of our ability to truly immerse ourselves in our clients’ organisations, even within significantly tight deadlines, meaning we always write from an informed and genuine perspective.

Let us help you to take back control of your time and resources – bidding doesn’t have to be a drain on your time and staff.

Project Management

Using HealthBid to manage and write your bids ensures your tender gets dedicated project management, using the proven Shipley Associates methodology – including capture planning to pink and red review teams.  

Our Bid Managers will get you through the tender process efficiently, seamlessly and successfully. Through exceptional organisation, project planning and coordination, they ensure everything stays on track – allowing you to stay calm and confident even during that final deadline week!

Expert Writing

We are professional writers, consistently producing exceptional content. Recent feedback from our clients is a real testament to this:

“We are extremely happy with our submission and the way the bid management process has been managed by yourselves.  The amount of information you have taken on board and captured within our submission, alongside how it is presented is impressive.” (Lifestyle Services client)

We are skilled at weaving our clients unique win themes into a vibrant and interesting story for commissioners, bringing their innovative services alive. We know how to do this in an appropriate, engaging style, ensuring responses incorporate both compliance requirements and the sales-based tone necessary in every successful tender.

“Thank you all so much for the swift, succinct and great work.  It has been a pleasure and I hope to work with you on projects to come.” (GP Federation Client)

The quality of our written work is also reinforced by our extensive experience. Having worked across numerous health and social care sectors, writing for a variety of Contracting Authorities, we know what Commissioners are looking for. Our unrivalled level of sector knowledge and experience, spanning the entire Bid Engine, is an asset in every bid we write.

We can support you through the whole process of winning work, from identifying unique win themes to project managing and writing your tender. Find out more by speaking to our Business Development Manager Laura Moore on 07341 338200.

Comment

Festive Aromas: Cinnamon and its Importance to Health

Comment

Festive Aromas: Cinnamon and its Importance to Health

Christmas is just around the corner and festive Spotify playlists are in full swing throughout the UK’s offices and shops. Besides the sounds of Christmas, however, many shops are also choosing to scent the air of their aisles with Christmas aromas to encourage shopper spending. In this blog post, HealthBid will consider the significance of a typical festive aroma; cinnamon, to health. In the light of Pret a Manger’s introduction of the Turmeric Latté, it seems spices really are big business in the UK.

What is Cinnamon?

Whilst many of us are familiar with this spice in the Western World, its origin can actually be traced back to the inner bark of a large tree thousands of miles away. The Portugese first discovered the spice in Ceylon – now Sri Lanka – in the early 1500s.  There are two dominant types of the spice: Ceylon and Cassia Cinnamon, with the majority of the former found in Sri Lanka and most of the latter found in Indonesia. The health benefits associated with the spice come from the essential oil present in its bark - known as ‘cinnamaldehyde’.

Neuromarketing

The smell of cinnamon is incredibly evocative - indeed, neuroscientists have proven through the use of fMRI scanners that the scent, above all others, causes individuals’ brains to light up and encourage festive sentiments. In fact, it is a proven seasonal marketing technique for this exact reason. 

Health Benefits

Cinnamon is an ingredient within Pret’s popular Turmeric Latté, with nutritionists claiming that it is linked to both reduced blood pressure and effective management of blood sugar for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  In addition, the spice’s carminative effect helps relieve gastrointestinal problems, with fans opting to make tea with ground cinnamon and hot water to help combat such digestive symptoms. The essential oil also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Despite this, it is important to recognise that too much cinnamon can also have an adverse effect on health. In fact, cassia cinnamon contains coumarin – an organic chemical compound which in large quantities can negatively impact on your liver. Ceylon cinnamon is therefore a safer bet, though less commonly found in typical supermarkets.

Supplementing your Diet with Cinnamon

With the RDA for cinnamon around 1.5-6 grams of cinnamon per day, there are many options by which you can incorporate the spice in your diet – including via coffee, curries and puddings. Alternatively, simply swirl a sprinkle of cinnamon, one sprinkle of mixed spice and one sprinkle of nutmeg into a mug of warm milk for a soothing, caffeine-free drink.

Sources:

M. Lindstrom -Brand Sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy'

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-cinnamon

https://www.thekitchn.com/should-you-be-adding-cinnamon-to-your-coffee-231050

Image Credit:

www.kjokkenutstyr.net

Comment

Darren O'Meara - Interview

Comment

Darren O'Meara - Interview

At HealthBid, we continue to deliver winning healthcare bids for our customers. Recently we’ve celebrated successes in the Department of Health Future Operating Model and 0-5 Children Services. Senior Bid Manager Darren O’Meara was instrumental in the delivery of some these key successes. We catch up with Darren for his insights in transforming that blank ITT into a successful tender. Read on for some top tips on how HealthBid’s proven bid management methodology offers an excellent pathway to producing high-quality content.

Congratulations on your latest wins Darren! To begin with, we wanted to ask you what your immediate approach is when assigned a project? 

Thank you, it’s been great to see our hard work resulting in some great successes for our customers.

Starting a new project, once we have identified stakeholders to be involved, a clear communication plan is agreed. The project plan can then be developed to facilitate the inclusion of all stakeholders at critical milestones. The project plan outlines both internal and external timescales and overall shapes both writing time and review around such key dates. In my experience, fundamental to effective project planning and ultimately, a winning bid, is taking the time to assess the opportunity to understand the key requirements and timelines of the bid. Equipped with this understanding we can then assist our customer in realising and developing their win themes to be articulated throughout the bid.  

At HealthBid, the Bid Engine provides a unique approach to bidding, offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise which is engaged for the benefit of each bid. Part of my planning involves engaging the Bid Engine to ensure each staff member assigned to the project is briefed and clear on their role in the bid process. Our model’s strength was demonstrated working with the NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership to achieve an unprecedented success - top scoring in all 6 Towers and securing the maximum 3 Towers within the Tranche 1 Procurement for the Department of Health Future Operating Model.

On the subject of communication, HealthBid works with many different healthcare companies across the UK and client liaison is key to efficient project management. How do you approach such liaison and keep clients updated on the bid management process?

The key to effective communication is early preparation, and here at HealthBid we often start the process of capture planning with customers before project documents have been issued. One of my first tasks, beginning a project is to identify who is the key point of contact for each client and key stakeholder. Identifying that key point of contact allows for regular targeted communication, a key element of efficient project management.

Each client brings their own unique experience and approach to the bid process - I see one of my main responsibilities as remaining flexible and quickly adapting my project management style to suit. In some cases, a project may concern multiple stakeholders, therefore I must remain adaptable to each stakeholder’s wishes, whilst also ensuring that decisions are made which every partner is ultimately happy with.

To take one example, in our successful work with NHS CPP, we worked with multiple stakeholders from each of the 4 founding NHS CPP Procurement Hubs including North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative, the London Procurement Partnership, Commercial Solutions and the East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub. The challenge with such a complex and diverse set of stakeholders was to secure the mutual agreement of each organisation to make sure each stakeholder was adequately engaged in contributing to the final bid response.

To assure successful liaison, we use a variety of methods of communication and do not simply rely on one medium. Effectively we strike a balance between telephone, email and face-to-face meetings. Whilst face-to-face meetings are a must for key milestones in the bid process such as Solution Design, Pink Teams and Red Reviews, regular communication is critical to engaging all stakeholders and often facilitated by conference calls at weekly intervals to ensure that all parties are informed and updated. 

As a Bid Manager, you often have several people working for you at once -  you’ve previously mentioned HealthBid’s Bid Engine. How do you assign workload and work with these staff members?

I will often assign content to team member based on their knowledge or experience of a certain topic, however it is important to build on a writer’s existing skillset, as a fresh perspective can equally provide unique and engaging responses.

Managing a project team involves consistent review to ensure progress in line with the project plan. Proactive planning, complemented by regular internal review optimises the quality of the bid response.  

As an experienced bid professional, you have worked on a variety of OJEU procurement processes for clients. Longer open processes, such as Competitive Dialogues, can often last several months. Do you have a particular methodology to deal with these processes as opposed to closed processes, consisting of an SQ and ITT?

Fundamental throughout every procurement – be it a closed or an open process - is that the client solution is presented and articulated in a manner which maximises the opportunity available. Drawing on our established and proven bidding methodology, including capture planning and use of review meetings, throughout each and every stage of the process is essential to ensure the customer is prepared for each stage.

For example, we recently successfully project managed the bid process for a 0-5s Service for a well-respected NHS Trust which included 2 competitive dialogue sessions prior to ITT. Through regular design/review meetings we were able to identify win themes which were consistently and clearly articulated to the Commissioner and developed and enhanced throughout the various procurement stages.

Such longer projects are more prone to change according to Commissioners’ wishes. How do you react to such alterations as changing timelines?

As a business, reacting to the changing face of healthcare is one of the key strengths of HealthBid. The agile nature of our Bid Engine provides the flexibility and experience to react to changing commissioners wishes. Our approach goes beyond consultancy; to actively provide a comprehensive and winning bid response which has been shaped by our customer and driven by HealthBid. Such a nature relies on the dynamism of our staff, and the flexible nature of our bid methodology.

Finally, given your recent successes, what do such results mean to you?

We work so closely with our clients; the challenges we face together throughout the bid process, combined with the trusted relationships we build, ensure that the outcome of the bid is personal to us. We anticipate results as much as our clients and there is no better feeling than celebrating our successes.

If you’d like to hear more about our bid management process, don’t hesitate in calling Laura Moore on 07341338200, or sending us your details.

Comment

Comment

Emma in the Hot Seat

November saw us welcome a new member to the HealthBid team as Emma joined us. A History graduate, Emma lives in West Yorkshire and enjoys live music festivals, visiting the Yorkshire seaside and travelling across Eastern Europe. As ever, we've interviewed her on a wide variety of significant subjects....

Hi Emma! To start the questions off, what is your full name?

Emma Louise McCormack.

What causes are you passionate about?

Mental health and 0-19s services.

Sum up your day so far in three words.

Coffee, writing, activities.

If you could be anybody for a day, who would you be and why?

Louis Theroux, because he’s got a really interesting job, and he knows so much about everything. I admire the way he manages to get information out of people.

What’s your favourite LT documentary?

Scientology

What was the last thing you Googled?

The meaning of MECC.

The failsafe question: what is your favourite cheese?

Wensleydale with cranberry - it’s very festive as well and it’s great on crackers!

As a Yorkshire native, name your favourite place to visit in the county.

So many places! I like to go to Malham Cove in Skipton for a nice walk, and I quite like Leeds City Centre. Oh, and Whitby too,

Do you speak any languages?

No.

The Pub Quiz question: what is currently the UK’s No. 1 Single?

Havana!

Woo hoo! People don’t normally get the PQ question! Next question: if you were an animal what would you be?

Maybe something water-based… I think an elephant because they love water. They’re very protective and seem very loyal, but they like rolling around in mud.

Good reasoning! And finally… name an interesting fact about yourself

I spotted the launch of the Tory manifesto in Halifax earlier this year - including the local protests - as that’s where I worked.

Favourite memory of Leeds?

How festive Millennium Square looks at Christmas time! So Millennium Square in Leeds.

Where was the last place you went abroad?

I went to Berlin in February to see the band The XX, and saw lots of incredible historical sights. I also visited Southern Spain in the summer. Berlin was freezing, but Spain was 30 degrees plus -so a little warmer! 

 

Comment

Big Win for HealthBid Client

Comment

Big Win for HealthBid Client

HealthBid & NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership (NHSCPP): Winning the Supply Chain Future Operating Model (Tranche 1) Category Towers Procurement

HealthBid are incredibly proud to share our involvement in the NHS Collaborative Partnership’s (NHSCPP) recent success in the Future Operating Model (FOM) Tranche 1 Medical / Clinical Goods Category Towers procurement.

NHSCPP is a Limited Liability Partnership borne out of collaboration between the East of England NHS Collaborative Hub (EOECPH), London Procurement Partnership (LPP), NHS Commercial Solutions (NHSCS) and the North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOECPC).

Keith Rowley, Managing Director of the NHS NOECPC said, "I have no doubt that the support of HealthBid helped us to maximise our competitive advantage during this bid process and as such, I would undoubtedly recommend their services to other NHS organisations."

A Category Tower combines the procurement of goods to the NHS with an evaluation and product range management process.  These Category Towers will replace the current procurement provision in the NHS Supply Chain contract before its contractual end date.  The aim of this approach is to generate greater levels of savings and benefits for the NHS on its product spend.

Following a competitive OJEU compliant tender process facilitated by NOECPC, HealthBid were selected as NHSCPP’s bid support partner the FOM Tranche 1 Category Towers procurement delivered via the Department of Health (DH) Procurement Team, part of the Procurement Transformation Programme.

This highly complex procurement conducted in accordance with the Restricted Procedure required HealthBid to provide dedicated on-site Bid Management and Bid Writing resource during a period of intensive bid activity lasting over 10 months. 

Conducted as two separate phases; ‘Selection’ and ‘Award’, the former required HealthBid to work with Procurement Directors and Senior Category Management Teams from each of the NHS Collaborative Procurement Hubs to complete Selection Questionnaires and associated bid documentation for six unique Lots.

Following successful down-selection for all six Lots, HealthBid were then required to generate the Award Questionnaire (ITT response documentation) for each of these six Lots.

The DH procurement rules specified that no bidder would be awarded more than a total of three Lots.  Our support resulted in NHSCPP scoring winning marks in the Quality sections for all six Lots and following application of the Lot Limitation rules by DH, NHSCPP were named as preferred bidder for the maximum award of three Lots:

Tower 2 – Sterile Intervention Equipment and Associated Consumables;

Tower 4 – Orthopaedics, Trauma and Spine and Ophthalmology;

Tower 5 – Rehabilitation, Disabled Services, Women’s Health and Associated Consumables.

Our Role

This was one of the most intensive and complex procurements conducted by DH in recent years and therefore fully tested the capabilities of all bidders.  Fortunately, when it comes to healthcare procurements of this scale, the deep healthcare sector subject matter expertise and unique Bid Engine approach used by HealthBid is unmatched by any other in-house Bid Department or external Bid Management consultancy, which ensured that our client was able to maximise their competitive advantage throughout the procurement process and secure Contract Award.

In overview, our role in this critical bid campaign was to provide the necessary leadership, management and content production expertise to generate the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT).  This was achieved through the following components.

Implementing & Managing the Process – Based on the HealthBid ‘Roadmap to Winning Bids’ methodology, the HealthBid Team managed the full bid process on behalf of NHSCPP for all six Category Towers.  Key activities included:

  • Facilitation of the solution design process;
  • Capture planning analysis to generate the overarching Win Strategy and support Win Themes for the specified Evaluation Factors;
  • Bid Campaign ‘Kick-off’ and documentation review;
  • Storyboarding and generation of bid content;
  • Support to pricing development;
  • Review of proposal documentation and pricing;
  • Portal management included management of clarification questions, upload of bid submission, and assurance of all compliance aspects;
  • Post-award support as required;

To support these activities we developed a comprehensive and detailed bid campaign plan that was kept updated throughout the process and included twice-weekly meetings and regular communication touch points with key stakeholders.

Expertise – Our success in the FOM procurement is a real testament to the uniquely effective Bid Engine approach developed and utilised by HealthBid.  Leveraging his industry-leading bid winning experience and proven healthcare business growth capabilities, the project was led by our Bid Director, David Haslewood.  Working closely with one of our highly experienced Senior Bid Managers, Darren O’Meara, the HealthBid Team also included the support of our team of skilled Bid Writers; Rebecca Benson, Georgina Hargrove and Georgia Threadgold.

The quality of our work is always in part due to the fact that we never place projects solely with one person.  Instead we bring together fantastic project managers, strong strategic director input and talented writers on every project to ensure that always produce a proposal that delivers a genuinely vibrant and interesting story for commissioners, drawing on the teams varying skills, interests and unrivalled level of sector knowledge to secure that all important result. 

This Bid Engine approach is our biggest differentiator in the market and the reason why so many of our clients choose to engage our services time and time again.  In fact, 90% of our clients who go on to write a second bid will as us to write it for them.

Relationship Management – The NHSCPP bid management process was complex not least because it brought four established bodies together as one collaborative organisation.  Our success is therefore also the result of exceptional stakeholder management; facilitating cooperative and productive relationships across all parties to reach established agreement on solution, price, bid reviews and the finalised submission.

If you’d like to find out more about HealthBid and how we achieve incredible results for our clients like the NHSCPP, get in touch with our Business Development Manager, Laura Moore, on 07341 338200. 

Comment

The Budget & The NHS: Key Things You Need to Know

Comment

The Budget & The NHS: Key Things You Need to Know

What’s been promised?

Below are the main NHS related headline announcements following Philip Hammond’s Autumn budget, delivered last week. In a promise to “always back” the increasingly pressurised health service, the Chancellor has announced a pot of extra funding to supplement the formal funding review process.

  • Hammond has announced a £2.5bn funding injection for the NHS over the next two consecutive financial years – these are one-off payments added to the planned budgets in each year.
  • Of this £2.5bn, £1.6bn will be added to the 2018-19 budget, seeing the £124.5bn budget originally planned for the year rise to £126bn.
  • The remaining £900m is reserved for 2019-20.
  • The NHS will also receive £335m this year, to aid winter pressures.
  • The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reports, for the 2018-19 pot, £1bn of the extra funding is intended to stop the declining performance in elective care. Research by Monitor, sector regulator for health services in England, suggests the NHS could improve productivity in elective care by up to 20%. For example, by rating patients on risk and simplifying pathways for the low risk patients or implementing ‘day-of surgery admissions’.
  • Hammond’s extra £600m in 2018-19 is aimed at helping hospitals meet the A&E target ­– for patients to be admitted, treated, and transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours.
  • An additional sum has been promised to fund pay rises for nurses and other key staff on top of the announced £2.5bn, if agreements are made regarding Agenda for Change new contracts.

Reactions

There were mixed reactions across key personnel and commentators, with a common thread that whilst the increase would ease immediate pressures, the governments expectations are unrealistic in terms of what can actually be done in return. Social care and Mental Health, it was noted, remained worryingly in the background.

Richard Murray, Director of Policy for The Kings Fund  –  “The additional money for the NHS is a welcome shot in the arm as a service struggles to meet rising demand for services. But it is still significantly less than the £4 billion we estimate the NHS needs next year. Even with this additional funding, the NHS will struggle to meet key targets and provide the investment needed in services such as general practice and mental health.”

Murray noted his disappointment that extra funding was not found for social care which faces a significant funding gap by 2019/20.

NHS England Chairman, Sir Malcom Grant – "The extra money the Chancellor has found for the NHS is welcome and will go some way towards filling the widely accepted funding gap. However, we can no longer avoid the difficult debate about what it is possible to deliver for patients with the money available. The NHS England board will need to lead this discussion when we meet on November 30."

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director for NHS England – “Personal view...Budget plugs some, but def not all, of NHS funding gap. Will force a debate about what the public can and can’t expect from the NHS. Worrying that longer waits seem likely/unavoidable.”

One of the strongest reactions came from Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health, who tweeted – “Both as national director for MH and as a trust CE, I am deeply concerned at where this leaves us. We cannot jeopardise 5yrfv MH deliverables and my Trust (and colleagues') cannot go on making 6% CIPs year on year...not to mention social care! Some very very tough choices ahead.”

The funding announced was largely seen as insufficient; being less than half of what experts had suggested was needed for next year alone. As the HSJ report, the next NHS England board meeting will provide a timely opportunity in which to fully understand the opportunities within the funding increase and what can realistically be delivered.

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42082602

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/22/philip-hammond-housing-nhs-autumn-budget

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/466895/Elective_care_main_document_final.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/improving-productivity-in-elective-care

https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/chancellors-funding-announcement-plugs-some-holes-in-nhs-budget/7021130.article

https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/which-of-the-children-do-we-shoot-first-the-budget-leaves-the-nhs-with-harsh-choices-/7021134.article

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/22/budgets-16bn-cash-boost-for-nhs-less-than-half-of-experts-advice

https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/the-budget-has-placed-the-nhs-and-government-on-a-collision-course/7021134.article

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-releases/kings-fund-responds-2017-autumn-budget?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_term=thekingsfund

Comment

A Happy Customer!

Comment

A Happy Customer!

The HealthBid Bid Engine is hard at work this week! The team are busy managing and writing a range of tenders at the moment, spanning health and wellbeing services to GP provider services.

Health and wellbeing tenders, especially lifestyle behavioural interventions, have become a big part of our more recent portfolio of experience here at HealthBid. The team have been writing fantastic content for clients bidding on services including;

·         Smoking Cessation

·         Weight Management

·         Alcohol Reduction

·         Physical Activity

·         Health Checks

In this we’ve been incorporating some really strong themes around community networks, engagement with deprived communities and tackling health inequalities.

We’ve recently written a great piece of work for a client within this sector, who have given us some feedback we are incredibly proud of!

I can’t thank you enough for all that you have produced for this tender. It was all so beautifully written and the diagrams are a fantastic addition which look really professional, I hope you were really proud of your work. If anything I feel guilty for submitting it as our own…It’s been great working with you.”

Our Bid Engine are so successful because we do things differently.

Your bid always gets team attention, never being placed solely with one person. Bringing together fantastic project managers, strong strategic director input and talented writers on every project means we always deliver incredibly high-quality work.

This is supported by our unrivalled level of sector experience. Everyone on the team has knowledge to add, meaning we always turn a tender document into a genuinely vibrant and interesting story for commissioners, bringing our clients innovative services alive.

We can support you through the whole process of winning work, from identifying unique win themes to project managing and writing your tender. Our clients consistently positive feedback is a real testament to our success. Find out more by speaking to our Business Development Manager Laura Moore on 07341 338200.

Comment

Comment

Sales - The Forgotten Word in Bids

A bid has to do many things for the evaluator - educate them, inform them - but most importantly it has to sell to them. All bids are part of the sales process. Whilst this sounds obvious, we regularly review bids that have forgotten that the point of going through the process is to win work. Some organisations seem almost apologetic to sell, something that is especially true in the public sector.

Some of this is due to the way tender questions are structured. Questions asking for a factual response don’t immediately offer an opportunity to sell to the commissioner. “Is your organisation certified to ISO9001 (or equivalent) standard?” doesn’t, at first glance, offer much to pitch against.

Formatting can hinder the sales pitch too - writing answers into a text box on a portal don’t give the same possibilities as ones in a Word document.

Despite these frustrations, it’s important to remember that as the bidding organisation, the onus is with you to sell, not to wait for the commissioners to ask. That’s why we make every answer to every question a sales pitch. No-one wants a brazen sales pitch that ignores the question, but there is a middle ground to be found between that and a dry, boring response, in order to sell our client’s organisation effectively.

There’s an art to this. At HealthBid, we spend time with our clients developing win themes, and then incorporating at least one of these into every single answer, no matter how factual. A win theme is something that tells the commissioner why they should award the contract to a particular client, and where possible should be unique to that bidder. A question about ISO9001 compliance? Our answer will tell the commissioner that our client has ISO9001, but also why they care - because quality matters to them.

We often run these win theme sessions separately to the bid process, so that we can allow clients the space to really think through what makes their business different without getting bogged down in the specifics of a question. We find that with the right challenge organisations who don’t think of themselves as ‘doing’ sales - an NHS Trust for example - actually can sell, and indeed have some brilliant, unique win themes. This information can then be taken forward into the Pink Team storyboarding session, and incorporated into the bid.

To find out more about how we can support your team to identify win themes, and use these to improve bids, get in touch with Laura Moore on 07341 338200, or email via our contact page.

Photo:- 

Comment