Mutuals Support Programme

Mutuals Support Programme

Contract value:£0 – £45,000. Business Consultancy Services.Mutuals Support Programme – Sensing Change – Suffolk County Council

Reference number: RM1243 – SB090

Deadline date:04/04/2013

This deadline is for… Submission of proposals

Contract value:£0 – £45,000

Location where the contract is to be carried out: United Kingdom

Is this suitable for smaller suppliers? Yes

Is this contract suitable for a voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations? Yes

Name of the buying organisation: Government Procurement Service (on behalf of the Cabinet Office)


Description of the contract

Sensing Change (the “Potential PSM”), a social work practice pilot, launched in October 2011 is now seeking to move permanently out of Suffolk County Council (the “Parent Body”). They have 44 members of staff (mix of full and part time posts: total of 32 FTE) – all of which were seconded in from the original County Sensory Team from within the Parent Body – and a turnover of £1.2m. The Potential PSM is a company limited by guarantee and is wholly owned by the Parent Body. They provide assessment, rehabilitation support, equipment (e.g. white canes, pager systems, screen phones, door bells) and interpreting services for people with sensory impairment. They have already begun to diversify from Parent Body contracts, for example providing communication support and signed information in DVD format, and are aware of the necessity to generate additional income through, for example, Sensory Awareness Training and British Sign Language Courses – the Potential PSM are also hoping to offer specialist assessments and rehabilitation programmes outside Suffolk. The Potential PSM has been operating as a social work practice under a Department of Health pilot scheme to test the benefits of delegating statutory duties to independent practices. The pilot scheme was originally for 2 years, and has now been extended to end of March 2014 –this was to allow additional time for the evaluation of the schemes. Department of Health funding supported the original pilot scheme, business planning and board development. The Department of Health are working towards ensuring the temporary legislation which enables the pilot schemes to operate will be made permanent from April 2014 – when this project intends to „go live?. The Parent Body support the social work practice pilot and now indicate support for the full spin out. The Potential PSM are highly committed and employees have also been supportive – the managing director estimates that 90-95% of staff are in favour of the move. The Potential PSM is led by the Managing Director who has run the service for 8 years. They have developed a draft business plan (please see separate attachment) and have a clear idea of numbers (please see separate attachment). Some of their indirect costs are retained by the Parent Body i.e. HR services, IT and finance. The Potential PSM has however brought in external HR (the provider is Blue Star), finance and Legal advice (the provider is Aquabridge Law), focused on the transfer of employees from the Parent Body to the new entity. To date HR and Legal advice has only consisted of initial meetings, and an accountant (from Miller Wash Accountants) has undertaken a financial audit (full audit testing of systems and a sample of transactions to ensure correct processes) – results due end of March 2013. The Potential PSM will continue to use HR and Legal support throughout the spin out and will have access to finance if needed. They are also aware that they will also need to develop skills via their Board in order to build on commercial experience.


Classification of the contract

79411100 Business development consultancy services

79411000 General management consultancy services

79410000 Business and management consultancy services

79400000 Business and management consultancy and related services


Additional information

Contract type: Services – Unspecified

Is it a framework agreement? No

Is this contract related to a programme of funding? No

Contract will be awarded based on: Most economically advantageous tender in terms of: The criteria stated in the contract documents

Estimated length of contract: 4 Months


Who to contact

Contact name James Bergin

Organisation name Government Procurement Service

Address Room 2Y92 Concept House, Cardiff Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8QQ

Telephone 01633 811600

Extension number:


How to apply

To participate in this procurement, Potential Providers must first be registered on the Government Procurement Service e-Sourcing Suite. If you have not yet registered on the eSourcing Suite, this can be done online at by following the link „Register for GPS eSourcing?. Please note that, to register, you must have a valid DUNS number (as provided by Dun and Bradstreet) for the organisation which you are registering, who will be entering into a contract if invited to do so at the Invitation to Tender stage. Full instructions for registration and use of the system can be found at Once you have registered on the eSourcing Suite, you will need to express and interest for the Mutuals Support Programme – Sensing Change – Suffolk County Council procurement. This is done by emailing Your email must clearly state: ? the name of this procurement (Mutuals Support Programme – Sensing Change – Suffolk County Council) and the RM reference number (RMXXXX-SB090); ? the name of the registered supplier; and ? the name and contact details for the registered individual sending the email. Government Procurement Service will then process this email and assign your organisation to the opportunity. The registered user will receive a notification email to alert them once this has been done. The Invitation to Tender will be issued to Potential Providers on INSERT DATE via the eSourcing Suite. Ideally Potential Providers should be registered on the system before this date however registrations will be accepted throughout the Tender period allowing Potential Providers access to the documentation. It is advised however that Potential Providers register as soon as practically possible in order to receive the Invitation to Tender and have a sufficient amount of time to respond. For technical assistance on use of the eSourcing Suite please contact the Helpdesk: Freephone: 0345 010 3503 Email:
Requirement: Mutuals Support Programme