In bid management, it’s useful to stay up to date with changing industry trends and the care industry is no different. It may not seem like an industry that can undergo widespread change (care is care, right?). However the care industry is currently undergoing such a change, through what is called “Universal Personalised Care” (UPC). There are various different forms of care and UPC will affect them all.
As part of its Long-Term Plan, the NHS is in the process of implementing Universal Personalised Care. This will radically change the way millions of people in the UK receive and experience health and social care. UPC will drastically change what local authorities require from care companies competing for contracts. But what is Universal Personalised Care? How can you incorporate it into a successful bid? Below are some of the key features of UPC, because once you understand what care tenders will increasingly require, your bid writing will have a greater chance of success.
More and more, tenders will emphasise the need for a “person-centred approach” when providing care. This simply allows individuals to make informed decisions and choices about their own care. Care is planned, delivered and assessed on an individual case by case basis, Placing greater emphasis on choice and control.
This approach should also be holistic: including all aspects and needs of the individual receiving care rather than just the issue that means they need care. It should include friends and family, hopes and aspirations, their place in the community and their fears and insecurities. Your bid response should show how you provide care for the individual as a whole.
It also means care is delivered using a personalised approach by someone the user decides they are comfortable with. Care administered by an individual, to an individual. Individuals help co-produce outcomes tailored toward specific personal needs and requirements, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This gives individuals “the same choice and control over their mental and physical health that they have come to expect in every other aspect of their life”.
Some tenders will ask for a “service that serves” the needs of individuals receiving care, or that care givers work “with” and not “for” the service user. A strong care bid should show this and demonstrate the ways in which you tailor care to each individual. Highlight the ways in which your organisation places the individual in control of their own care and offer success stories to prove it. You should also demonstrate how you take a holistic approach to care, by showing how you meet physical, mental, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs.
A key aspect of UPC, social prescribing means organisations, such as those that provide care, will refer people to “link workers” (NHS staff who take time to focus on what matters to individuals) and connect people to community groups or services that they believe could be a benefit. Successful social prescribing has a wide range of benefits including improved quality of life and emotional well-being.
Around 50% of GP appointments are not directly related to medical problems. Instead everything from workouts, book clubs, art classes or even ballroom dancing can often prove more beneficial. This has the added benefit of saving the cash-strapped NHS money and resources by first dealing with issues socially rather than through medical intervention.
Care procurement will increasingly place an emphasis on social prescribing, for people experiencing:
- Mental health problems.
- Long-term health conditions.
- Conditions requiring complex care.
Anyone receiving care should have social prescribing made available to them. Some tenders will require care providers to maintain relationships with local community organisations, in order to directly provide social prescribing to care users. Providers can then directly refer those in care and try to forge relationships with a wide range of groups. Offering social prescribing through strong community partnerships will help to enhance your bid as UPC becomes more widespread.
Another recent trend in the care industry is a requirement for providers to promote independence. This encourages those in care to live with as much independence as possible. This approach allows users to live with the level of independence they decide is appropriate, often in their own home (domiciliary care). Alternatively, specialist accommodation called extra care which offers on-site care if required. Promoting independence again places individuals in control of their care, allowing people to live their lives the way they choose.
Receiving domiciliary care or extra care also reduces the prevalence of occurrences such as bed-blocking. This is when patients who don’t strictly need hospital care – but who are unable to receive care elsewhere – unnecessarily take up a limited allocation of hospital beds. It’s both highly distressing for the patients and unduly takes up limited NHS resources.
When writing a care bid, emphasise how your service will encourage users to live as independently as possible. A key aspect of this is introducing a measured amount of risk into care. Those in care should take small and measured risks to achieve the maximum level of independence. Eg. allowing someone to shop for themselves instead of insisting they’re accompanied by a carer. Including successful examples like this will help your bid to stand out and reflect your commitment to supporting independent living.
A knowledge of Universal Personalised Care’s features when writing care bids can only be a strength. While currently in the early stages of roll-out, UPC will be fully implemented by 2024. It will then be “business as usual” for all care administered in the UK, affecting up to 2.5 million people. Outlined above are only some of its key features. So in order to ensure you’re winning care tenders now and in the years to come, keep up with changing developments in the care industry.
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