Buying hub bids for social care savings

14 November 2011

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14 November 2011 | Angeline Albert

Buyers at a collaborative hub are looking at novel ways to make savings from social care spend.

As social care purchasing lead at Pro5, the national local government purchasing organisation made up of five buying consortia, past CIPS president Ian Taylor has gone out to tender for cards that are pre-loaded with individual care users’ budgets for them to directly spend on personal care. He also plans to tender for an online marketplace where care users would view and choose the services they want, including care homes and recreational activities. 

Those requiring care, such as the disabled, elderly and their carers, would be guided in their purchasing decisions by local authorities, who would post advice on the online marketplace. This online ordering system enables public sector buyers to track the buying choices made by reporting metrics of purchased goods and services with a view to assisting procurement’s bulk-buying decisions.  

Taylor, who is also director of Pro5 member North Eastern Purchasing Organisation (NEPO), said: “This is comparatively novel from a procurement perspective, starting off without much of a benchmark and a good example. There is a lot of thinking about how we can support the right choice. Choices available online may also involve selecting care homes. We are entering into a market consultation shortly about the online marketplace.

“With spending cuts in local authorities, we’re re-forecasting and re-focusing on areas where spend will probably hold up, like social care, and away from more traditional areas where we originally thought savings would be coming from.”

Pro5 is made up of the Central Buying Consortium,
Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation, YPO, West Mercia Supplies and NEPO.

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