The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) intends to establish a Framework Agreement for the provision of Health and Disability Assessment services to support DWP and other contracting authorities including the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland (www.dsdni.gov.uk) (collectively the “Contracting Authorities”) using the Framework Agreement in carrying out a range of functions, including but not limited to supporting decisions on entitlement to social security benefits, and to support wider requirements which may involve such health assessments as part of business delivery.
These services will likely involve but not be restricted to:
• the consideration of an individual’s circumstances and any health conditions or disabilities they may have;
• assessing individuals against criteria prescribed by the Contracting Authority;
• the delivery of face-to-face assessments to support the above;
• the gathering and consideration of evidence to support the above;
• the interpretation of medical evidence to support the above;
• the provision of information and advice on the above to the Contracting Authority;
• follow up liaison with the Contracting Authority in relation to assessments, including the provision of relevant health professional expertise as required; and
• the administration and management of the service, including the provision of a quality control regime and a query and complaints service for individuals.
DWP is acting as a central purchasing body through which the other Contracting Authorities may wish to procure services by calling off services under the Framework Agreement (but without any obligation on the Contracting Authorities to call-off services). Accordingly it is the intention that the other Contracting Authorities should be able to rely on this procurement to purchase such services without the need for any further primary procurement process.
The other public sector bodies to whom the use of this Framework Agreement will be open in addition to DWP are the following in the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland and their respective statutory successors and organisations created as a result of re-organisations or organisational changes:
1) Central Government Departments & their executive agencies (a list of such Departments and executive agencies can be found at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/government-business/government-ministers-responsibilities.aspx),
2) Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) (a list of NDPBs can be found at Annex A to the Public Bodies Directory 2007 published by the Cabinet Office) which can be found at http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/documents/pdf/public_bodies_2007.pdf),
3) Local Authorities (as defined in Regulation 3(2) to 3(5) inclusive of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 as amended, a list of such authorities being available at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/Localcouncils/AToZOfLocalCouncils/DG_A-Z_LG,
Devolved and other administrations within the British Isles, including those detailed at: (in the case of Scotland) http://scotland.gov.uk/Home, and http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/, (in the case of Wales) http://new.wales.gov.uk/?llang=en
In the main it is the expectation that assessments will be completed by health professionals regulated by the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council or the Health Professions Council and meeting other criteria related to experience, training and competence prescribed by the Contracting Authority. These criteria may be subject to change over the life of the Framework Agreement.
These are part B services and the DWP and other contracting authorities utilising the Framework Agreement will not be bound by the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended); except as such Regulations are applicable to part B services. This notice and any subsequent notices are placed voluntarily.
The Framework Agreement will be divided into the following Lots:
1. North West England / North East England / Scotland / Isle of Man
2. Central England / Wales
3. London / Southern England
4. Northern Ireland
5. United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) and Isle of Man
Contracts (work packages) let under the Framework Agreement may cover the whole of the area comprised within a Lot or a smaller area within a Lot. DWP has no immediate plans to let contracts from Lot 5 (United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) and Isle of Man. DWP has included this Lot to allow for the option to let contracts across Lot boundaries in the future, such as new initiatives and pilots, and also to allow call off on a national or a regional basis not equating to the Lot structure in Lots 1 to 4 above due to the particular profile and nature of the services under the specific contract in question.
Organisations may compete to be included in one, all or any combination of the Lots so some organisations could be included in several or all of the Lots on the Framework. Further details are given in the Invitation to Tender documents.
The Framework Agreement will be for 4 years. The expectation is that specific contracts let under the Framework Agreement may be for up to 7 years.
Please note DWP will be using an e-procurement solution throughout this procurement. Potential suppliers will need to register their interest via the following website: https://dwp.bravosolution.co.uk. All Invitation to Tender documentation is downloadable from that website from 23/01/2012. If you experience any technical difficulties or require further advice, contact 0800-368-4850.