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14 November 2011 | Angeline
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
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.