Summary of Home Support Provider Event – 19th July 2019




Summary of Home Support Provider Event held at Dereham Football Club

on 19th July 2019

The Home Support Provider Event was attended by over 50 people with 33 representing Home Support providers and a variety of Norfolk County Council (NCC) staff. The aim of the day was to take stock of the Home Support Framework and share feedback that Commissioners have received from locality meetings with Providers. The event was structured into a mixture of presentations, help desks and round table discussions.

The Lead for Home Support Services introduced the programme and gave an update on NCC spend on Home Support and provided an overview of the ‘Living Well’ approach. The challenges facing the market were discussed, and Providers were encouraged to keep abreast of NCC initiatives, via the following links on the NCC website:

Commissioning gave an up-date on the ‘Every Day is Different’ Social Care recruitment campaign led by the Department of Work and Pensions. The local recruitment campaign is housed at the Norfolk Care Careers website which has 88 live vacancies. The campaign used social media to raise awareness of careers in the Sector and challenge negative perceptions of working in Social Care. From online advertising (between May to July 2019) 4,359 sessions were driven to the NCC website with 14,543-page views, and an average session duration of 2 mins 18 secs. This is extremely positive and demonstrates that visitors to the website were engaged with the contents and jobs available. The vacancies page was the most popular on the website for candidates, followed by ‘what makes a good Care worker’. All Providers were encouraged to upload their local jobs onto the Website.

Examples of the way Commissioners and Providers are working together, so that new types of agreements can be called off the Home Support Framework contract were highlighted. This demonstrates the versatility of the Framework approach and the ease that new services can be commissioned. These included:

  1. Specialist Mental Health Home Support service for people with severe and enduring mental health problems which is piloted in Norwich
  2. Double Assist Home Support Service which is being tested in North Norfolk
  3. Enhanced Home Support Service, which is a county-wide rapid response and short-term service for individuals with unplanned support needs.

A new digital sourcing platform, e-Brokerage, was introduced which provides electronic capability for the Council and Providers to engage on the provision of care / support packages. A set of requirements are created and sent to a selected group of Providers who respond if they can meet the requirements. The System will initially be implemented for residential and nursing homes followed by Home Support in 2020. Anyone interested in supporting the setup of e-Brokerage for Home Support was asked to contact the Brokerage team.

An analysis of current and future Home Support delivery for NCC funded Care was presented by an Analyst from the Quality Assurance and Market Development Team. The data was presented by Primary Care Network (PCN) area, as this is the structure that NHS England is using to deliver Care around clusters of GP practices. Up to date information on the profile of service users, CQC ratings of Providers, unmet need trends and workforce statistics were displayed. Providers were thanked for their help to reduce the number of people on the Unmet Needs List by 45% between January and June 2019.

Head of Sourcing shared the latest plans for opening the Home Support Framework across Norfolk. These are based on feedback from providers, experiences and lessons learnt from piloting the Framework in South, North and Norwich localities. The presentation included an outline for a new and up-dated Framework structure. The new model is likely to mean changes to the banded pricing and the audience was asked for feed-back on the proposed plans.

The final report on the formation of Norfolk Care Association (NCA) was presented by the consultant leading the consultation process. The Forum will act as a single body representing all Social Care organisations providing direct care to individuals and their families and operating in the Norfolk and Waveney area. Once the outcome of the funding proposal has been agreed the Interim Board will be recruiting a Chief Executive Officer. Providers should contact Norfolk Care Association if they would like to be involved in the recruitment process.

Over lunch providers took the opportunity to meet and raise questions and issues with helpdesk staff from the following NCC departments:

  • Operational Locality team
  • Brokerage
  • Procurement and Contracts
  • Quality Assurance and Market Development
  • Payments and Invoicing (Provider Portal)
  • Norfolk First Support.

The afternoon was spent in round table discussions on the following topics:

  1. Faced with continuing austerity how can we deliver high-quality cost-effective home support services?
  2. What can home support providers offer to facilitate access to services in the community?

The following are the main themes from the round table discussions:

Providers will go the extra mile to ensure service users have the best possible outcome

  • CCG or District boundaries are only relevant to providers if they make commercial sense and they have staff available.       Otherwise boundaries are immaterial to providers
  • Positive outcomes have been achieved where providers improve their working relationship and work together on how to make care as a profession attractive to potential staff
  • Some Providers are already signposting to GPs, community services (dog walkers etc.) and have specific campaigns e.g. Care Watch, Big Smile campaign.

If NCC systems and processes were slicker providers could accept packages quicker

  • Clear guidance on providers retaining a service user’s space on the rota whilst in hospital
  • Social Workers seem too risk adverse resulting in over prescription of support
  • Contingency funding used in a crisis takes too long to access and therefore the providers are front funding with no assurance they will get that money back.

A good training offer helps staff engagement and the efficiency of the Service will improve

  • Sharing of training and resources has potential to build relationships between providers
  • Norfolk Care Careers (NCC) recruitment platform is challenging for providers to use
  • A change in the perception of what it is like to work in the Care system needs to happen as it is undervalued.
  • Targeting the recruitment of mature people, looking for a change/second career can help with attracting new starters.
  • Values-based recruitment can help attract the right people to work in the Sector
  • Join up of Care and Health recruitment would be beneficial.
  • NCC think home support staff prefer set hours, but zero-hour contracts are highly favoured.

Organisations now have a clear agenda to link to community initiatives in tandem with providers but understanding of service user capacity and capability to be involved is often lacking

  • Care plans should include activities that will enhance the service user’s health and wellbeing such as attending community-based activities.

Suggestions for NCC to do:

  • Improve NCC process so that they are slicker and faster
  • Consider how providers could contribute to service user reviews
  • Run more NCC-led workshops, for providers to hear about new initiatives and get involved in collaboration opportunities both with NCC (e.g EHSS) and each other
  • Improve communication by sharing team structures to know “who is who” and what they do
  • Create opportunities for providers to meet by PCN to gain understanding of care available
  • Keep focused on sharing best practice and solutions on problems currently faced by the sector so that learning can be shared and replicated.

 Suggestions for providers to do:

  • Talk to service users about their social/community support needs to make the most of the help available outside the home
  • Get familiar with all the help and support available on the NCC website
  • Advertise job vacancies on the Norfolk Carer Careers website and consider how to make their companies attractive to prospective employees
  • Contact the e-Brokerage team if you would like to support implementation of e-Brokerage
  • Contact Norfolk Care Association if you would like to be part of the CEO interview process.

The session was closed by the Lead for Home Support who thanked everybody for coming along. The next steps for the Home Support Framework are as follows:

  • Issue the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the new Framework by Wednesday 7 August 2019
  • Run a question and answer session on 28 August 2019 at the White Horse Inn in Trowse
  • Closing date for the tender is Monday 16 September 2019.




Invitation to Tender – New Home Support Provider Framework


Via Email

Date: 8th August 2019

Adult Social Services, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich Norfolk NR1 2DH

NCC contact number: 0344 800 8020    Text relay no: 18001 0344 800 8020


To NCC Home Support Providers

The purpose of this letter is to alert you that an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for a new Home Support Framework has been published and to provide links to web-sites with more details about the tender process and deadlines.

The Council is continuing with phase 2 of the Home Support Framework and replacing the current Home Support Framework with a new updated Home Support Framework Agreement. The new Framework is based on Primary Care Network (PCN) areas across Norfolk.

This was announced at the Home Support Market Engagement Event, held at Dereham Football Club on Friday 19th 2019. Presentations and feedback from the event can be found on the Keeping Well at Home Blog or on the Council’s Care Market News

The intention is to move existing packages of care to the new Framework on their current terms and conditions. The new Framework Agreement will be used to arrange individual packages of care, a round of packages of care, a commitment to buy a volume of hours in a particular area (previously referred to as ‘block contracts’) and specialist services. Existing NCC providers with a CQC rating of good or outstanding who apply will be fast-tracked on to the Framework Agreement. The expectation is that successful providers will work together to facilitate effective delivery of home support services across Primary Care Network (PCNs) areas.

This opportunity is published on the In-tend web-site, with project reference of NCCT41877. To access the documents, interested providers must express interest in the tender. They will then be able to view the documents which contain information about the Council’s plans as well as advice on how to apply. All correspondence and clarifications in relation to the tender will be issued via this system, so if you are interested in applying to the Framework, please make sure you check the site regularly.

A Question & Answer session will be held on 28 August 2019 at 10:00 (there may be an additional session at 12.00 due to numbers) at the White Horse Inn in Trowse. To reserve a place, please e-mail Commissioning Support Officer, Alice Dyson, before noon on Thursday 22 August 2019.

The closing date for the tender is 2pm on Monday 16 September 2019. Please see full timetable below.

If you encounter any difficulties whilst using the system you can contact the In-Tend support team by phoning 0845 557 8079 or +44 (0) 114 407 0065 or by emailing

Regards from

 Fiona Craig

Head of Integrated Commissioning (North) and Lead for Home Support

Procurement reference number NCCT41887
Procurement title Home Support Framework for Norfolk
Details of the contract notice Date dispatched to publisher Monday 5 August 2019
Publication Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union
Contracting Authority’s name and address Procurement Sourcing Team

Norfolk County Council

Floor 3 County Hall

Martineau Lane


United Kingdom

Correspondence All correspondence and clarifications regarding the procurement should go through In-Tend:
Procurement procedure Open procedure as defined in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended)
Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 The Authority has concluded that it is not appropriate to consult on social value in respect of this procurement, because social value to at the heart of this service.
Information and Q&A session for Bidders 28 August 2019 at 10:00 (there may be an additional session at 12.00 due to numbers) at the White Horse Inn in Trowse
Final deadline for submission of clarification questions relating to ITT 2pm UK time on Monday 9 September 2019
Deadline to request further explanation about clarification answers (no new questions to be introduced) Midnight UK time on the third working day after the Council sends its final answers to the clarification questions received before the above deadline
Deadline for submission of tender documents 2pm UK time on Monday 16 September 2019
Address for submission of tender documents All tenders must be submitted via the In-Tend portal.
Period for which offers must remain open for acceptance 180 days from the tender submission deadline
Award decision notice and standstill process The Council shall have no obligation to Applicants concerning debriefing beyond those contained in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended). The Council will observe a standstill period and will not appoint to the framework until after midnight on the tenth day after the award decision notice has been issued to the Applicants.


Expected date for issuing intention to award letters and for standstill period to commence Friday 11 October 2019 (First Tranche)


Please note that the Council will evaluate the applications in tranches due to the checks required. This mean the framework agreements will be awarded in batches.

Expected date for standstill period to finish Midnight UK time on Monday 21 October 2019
Framework Award Tuesday 22 October 2019 (First Tranche)

Summary of Home Support Provider Event held at Dereham Football Club on 19th July 2019

Norfolk County Council (NCC) invited all providers of home support services in Norfolk to this event. The aim of the day was to stocktake the key issues, developments, successes and challenges in the home support sector in Norfolk. Feedback was sought on the way NCC sources, contracts and commissions home support services. The day was structured to involve participants in a mixture of presentations, help desks and round table discussions.

The Head of Commissioning in North Norfolk and Lead for Home Support Services, introduced the programme for the day and gave an update of NCC spend on home support. There was an overview of the ‘Living Well’ strategy and its intention to work more closely with providers. The main challenges facing the markets were discussed including the increased population of older people, financial austerity, Brexit decisions, the delayed Green Paper for Social Care and integration of Health and Social Care and emerging Primary Care Networks (PCN).

Welcome to the Day

Continue reading

Important update – Guidance for Providers

  • Medication Error and Safeguarding – Guidance for providers

Norfolk County Council receives thousands of notifications from providers about medication errors. Some of these need to be reported as safeguarding concerns and some don’t. But which ones?

To support providers, the Quality Assurance Team of Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) have produced new joint guidance.

Please go to:





Establishing a Care Association for Norfolk

Following the consultation to shape a Care Association for Norfolk, an interim Board has been formed to take the recommendations forward.

Norfolk Care Association Interim Board members are:

  • Norfolk Independent Care (NIC) – Sanjay Kaushal/Robina Clarke
  • Association Representing Mental health Care (ARMC) – Michael Millage
  • Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support Ltd (N&SCS) – Christine Futter
  • Community Action Norfolk (CAN) – Jonathan Clemo
  • Voluntary Norfolk (VN) – Kevin Vaughan

This briefing is to give you an update on our progress.

Through the consultation, you told us the most important role for a Care Association was as a voice for the sector working both with local commissioners and on a national stage.

The full consultation outcomes can be found at:

The Interim Board has met twice and agreed Articles of Association for the new Company which will be called Norfolk Care Association. The Articles set out the aims, social purpose and objectives of the new organisation and are given in full below.


Norfolk Care Association Ltd will act as a single body representing all social care organisations providing direct care to individuals and their families and operating in the Norfolk and Waveney area. 

Social Purpose and Objectives

 Norfolk Care Association Limited will:

  • engage with social care and health commissioners in the Norfolk and Waveney area in discussions on the cost of care, new policies and guidance, and the standardisation of systems and procedures that affect social care providers;
  • provide a forum for those working in social care to meet and share good practice;
  • provide a first port of call, signposting providers to trusted sources of information and advice;
  • provide other services that the Directors consider would be of value to the social care sector;
  • reinvest all annual surplus trading profit back into the company in support its Aim, Social Purpose and Objectives.

The Interim Board has put together a funding proposal for initial set up and operating costs which is currently being considered by the Director of Commissioning at Norfolk County Council.

Pending the outcome of our proposal, we plan to recruit a Chief Executive officer to help take forward this exciting initiative.

In the meantime, Dr Fiona Denny, who co-ordinated the original consultation, is continuing to support the Interim Board.

Fiona can be contacted at

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.

Norfolk Care Association Interim Board

  • Norfolk Independent Care (NIC) – Sanjay Kaushal/Robina Clarke
  • Association Representing Mental health Care (ARMC) – Michael Millage
  • Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support Ltd (N&SCS) – Christine Futter
  • Community Action Norfolk (CAN) – Jonathan Clemo
  • Voluntary Norfolk (VN) – Kevin Vaughan