Local authority contracts, tenders and fees
Downward economic pressure has led to significant cuts in social care budgets and changes to the way local authorities contract for care. Local authorities may present tender documentation and contracts as “non-negotiable” which can place providers in a vulnerable position when they are already squeezed on fees.
Our expertise includes:
- Advice on tender documentation
We have experience in acting for groups of providers and care associations in reviewing and advising on local authority tender documentation and processes. We can review and advise on onerous or illegal terms and enter into negotiations on behalf of providers to improve their position.
- Negotiating Framework Agreements
Framework Agreements are notoriously one-sided. We have previously represented providers and care associations at procurement meetings and in contract negotiations, calling the local authority to account on unenforceable or unfair terms. The result has been a more balanced and favourable document for providers.
The battle to ensure local authorities and NHS pay fair fees for care is ongoing. We have previously acted for providers and care associations in challenging commissioners on their fees decision-making. We have also successfully represented learning disability providers in defending costs reviews.
We are able to advise providers on their legal duties surrounding third party top ups under the Care Act 2014 and can review your contracts and admissions procedures to ensure they conform with the law.
- Acted for a care association in the negotiation of a framework agreement between the local authority, NHS and providers including reviewing and advising on its terms, representing the care association at procurement meetings and negotiating fairer provisions into the agreement.
- Acted for a learning disability provider in costs review negotiations with a placing authority represented by a company engaged to cut costs on its behalf. Engaged with the service user’s family and the provider to defend the current level of fees and ensure the placement was secure for the future.