LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 18

LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14
CASE STUDY – Competitive Tendering
A successful competitive tender bid in November
2013 for a community ophthalmology service with
13 optical practices in Croydon at its core, took LOC
Companies into groundbreaking territory.
The tender valued at around £500,000 per annumwas
for a service that is required to employ a consultant
ophthalmologist to provide clinical sessions and act as
the clinical lead. The service is expected to triage over
5,000 referrals per year and will treat patients who are
experiencing recently occurring eye conditions, as well
as refining cataract and glaucoma referrals.
As with all bids, in Croydon there was a huge input in
the run up to the bid itself. Comprehensive support from
LOCSU throughout the whole process helped shape the
winning bid and get the service off the ground.
Optical Lead, Poonam Sharma, was able to explain
in the tender response how the LOC Company
would make the service work; company structure,
governance and control measures, accreditation,
clinical pathways and much more had to be covered.
LOCSU was able to articulate the service model
on behalf of the LOC Company and answer all the
Commissioner’s clarification questions to help them
secure the contract. This included describing how
the OptoManager IT platformwould be adapted to
incorporate the requirement for a triage function.
Once Croydon was chosen as preferred bidder,
Poonamwas able to call on the wider resources within
LOCSU to help mobilise the service.
The LOC really appreciated LOCSU’s involvement in the
bidding process to help put them in a winning position.
Croydon LOC Chair and Governance Lead, Chris Kerr,
said that the Optical Lead had been “immensely
supportive” in the bid process. “Poonam provided a
great overview of the bid; she was always on the ball
and got things quickly. We were very happy with her
“Her experience of the process in other schemes was
significant in the success of the tender and the wider
insight of the Optical Lead meant that Commissioners
adjudged her to have an independent stance during
negotiations because of her experience in tender
negotiations and service delivery.”
SouthWorcestershire andWyre Forest
A procurement launched by South Worcestershire and
Wyre Forest CCG in October 2103 for a Community
Optometry Service valued at up to £300,000 per annum
propelled Worcestershire LOC and Arden, Herefordshire
&Worcestershire Primary Eye Care Limited into the
world of competitive tendering in October 2013.
The Commissioner was looking for a single provider
to deliver IOP Repeat Readings, Cataract post-op
and PEARS, all of which were currently provided by
individual optical practices across the Worcestershire
LOC area. Community monitoring of stable glaucoma
was also to be included within the new service.
The regional LOC Company had a definite “USP” as
a bidder when it came to patient choice, as it had a
network of over 40 practices in the area that were
interested in providing the service.
The company was invited to tender for the service in
December having been successfully led through the
pre-qualification stage by LOCSU Optical Lead, Charles
Barlow. The endless hours of work put in by Charles
and the Worcestershire team over the Christmas
and New Year holiday period to get the tender ready
paid off when the Commissioner announced Arden,
Herefordshire &Worcestershire Primary Eye Care
Limited as the preferred bidder for the service in
February 2014.
After some discussion during the mobilisation phase,
it was agreed with the Commissioner that the LOC
Company would commence with the existing pathways
and OHT monitoring as soon as possible, whilst a model
for community monitoring of patients with stable
glaucoma was developed with the local hospital trust.
“I would encourage all LOCs to consider utilising an
LOC Company to bid for services. Although the amount
of work involved in a competitive tender did seem
daunting at times, thanks to the support of Charles
and the LOCSU team, we were able to secure preferred
bidder status. The LOC Company model brings
together a network of community optical practices as
a single provider providing excellent choice and access
to service for patients, and puts our professions in a
strong position when bidding for services.” – Victoria
Merrett, Arden, Herefordshire &Worcestershire
Primary Eyecare Ltd.
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