Dynamic Purchasing System

Supporting social care services at Birmingham City Council

Capita project managed the set up and delivery of the dynamic purchasing system to support Birmingham City Council with their social care service offering. 

The system opens up the market to care providers to allow:

  • Flexible care options
  • Better quality of care
  • Value for money
  • A fair process for all

Like many other local authorities across the UK, Birmingham City Council procure a diverse range of social care service providers for people in need of care. These services support those who have been assessed by the Council as being eligible for care services and can be delivered in a range of ways, such as taking a direct payment or the appropriate care on behalf of the person in need.

In order to improve the way this process works, Capita worked with Birmingham City Council to project manage the implementation and delivery of the ‘dynamic purchasing system’ which improves the way the Council commissions and purchases care. 

The ‘dynamic purchasing system’ is a framework agreement and micro-procurement process that ensures every care provider commissioned by Birmingham City Council, is operating under the same contractual rules. This better safeguards vulnerable people from avoidable harm, gives the Council greater control over the quality of care it purchases and reduces the cost of care for the individual and the Council.

How does this framework work?

The framework opens up the opportunity for a larger amount of quality care providers in the midlands to register with the Council, inviting more competition to help lower the cost of care without affecting the quality of the service. 

Every care provider that now registers with Birmingham City Council to provide care services is awarded a quality score. The overall quality score is based upon information from:

  • A quarterly self-assessment questionnaire completed by the care provider 
  • The Care Quality Commission 
  • The Council’s contract and compliance process
What are the benefits to Birmingham City Council?

The framework agreement ensures:

  • The market is open to more providers reducing the risk of having a small number of large providers – allowing better flexibility, quality of care and competitive rates. 
  • An increased value for money for both the Council and/or self care funders – creating up to 18% of savings. 
  • The purchasing of care is a transparent and fair process to everyone.
  • A move away from a process that focuses on ‘hours of care’ and tasks towards one that focuses on individual needs and outcomes in order to support and maintain independence.
  • There are robust contractual terms and conditions to which each care provider will have to adhere to.
  • Care providers can declare which categories of care they are able to provide (e.g. respite, supported living,physical disability, learning disability).
  • The Council better understands the overall quality of care provision, and ensure the Council is only purchasing services from known care providers who are able to demonstrate acceptable levels of quality.
We believe that the introduction of a Framework Agreement and a micro-procurement process provides greater transparency to people in need of care, carers, care providers and the Council. It promotes and reward the use of services that are achieving and maintaining high degrees of quality. It also concentrates more on the needs of and outcomes for people in need of care and offers a range of service provision options from across the entire social care market.

Jules Gregory, Market Manager

Read more about the Dynamic Purchasing System.

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