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Complex Soft FM contracts made faster, manageable and cost effective

Making complex Soft Facilities Management agreements faster, compliant and more manageable also brings savings, as South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust is discovering.

Complex Soft FM contracts made faster, manageable and cost effective

NHS organisations are under pressure to make financial savings without compromising the quality of the service. ERIC (Estates Return Information Collection) data from 2012 showed that every trust was spending significant sums on Soft Facilities Management but no framework was available to support them in managing this. Consequently, individual contracts were being created, managed and renewed. These complex agreements can take more than a year to put in place. LPP identified an opportunity to provide trusts with a framework to make the process faster, , compliant and more manageable.

Having identified this gap, LPP put in place a multi-supplier Soft Facilities Management framework which is now providing trusts and other public sector bodies with a flexible route to all services required under the category of SFM – in individual lots or as a full managed service.

The Soft Facilities Management Framework went live in April 2013, and is a fully flexible framework offering the following lots:

  • Lot 1: Fully Managed Service for Soft Facilities Management services, within Public Buildings and Healthcare Environments. (This lot includes all the services available under Lots 2a-5.)
  • Lot 2a: General Cleaning services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments
  • Lot 2b: Window Cleaning services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments
  • Lot 2c: Pest Control and Prevention services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments
  • Lot 3: Catering services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments
  • Lot 4: Linen & Laundry services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments
  • Lot 5: Security and Manned Guarding services within Public Buildings and Healthcare environments.

The Soft Facilities Management framework benefits include:

  • allows trusts to award a contract that is OJEU compliant, thereby reducing the time to contract;
  • facilitates trusts to procure single services, from direct service providers, or a range of managed services from a single supplier;
  • is available for use across the public sector, but is based on the high standards for patient care required in the NHS;
  • can deliver financial and efficiency savings, through the establishment of effective selection criteria and a robust mini competition process; and
  • is supported by a number of LPP guidance and template documents, allowing trusts to focus on refining their requirements.

Significant savings for South Warwickshire NHS FT

SouthwarwickshireftsignOne of the first adopters of the framework is South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT). In May 2013 SWFT was in the position of having an existing Soft FM contract due to expire on 1st February 2014. Bearing in mind the usual 12 months or more that it takes to run an independent OJEU, and allowing for the three-month mobilisation period which would be required with any change of provider, SWFT would not have the time to run the full compliant process itself before the contract expired.

LPP worked with SWFT to run a mini competition and establish a new contract under the framework. This was a complex and intense, deadline-driven project which LPP and SWFT completed within seven months. As well as achieving a fast turnaround, the new contract for SWFT is producing savings in the region of 10 per cent.

Commenting on the framework and LPP’s support for SWFT’s mini competition, Valerie Quelch, Hotel Services Operational Manager for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust’s Warwick Hospital says:

“The LPP framework gave us assurance that companies selected for the framework had proved they were capable of delivering the services within agreed Lots, including individual services and combinations, such as Hotel Services – Catering, Portering, Domestic and Security.  This also gave SWFT a clearly defined structure to work within.

“From their perspective, bidders were given assurance that the whole process was impartial through the independent overview and scrutiny of LPP.

“The benefit for SWFT of working with LPP is that checks were carried out as part of a PQQ process.   LPP provided a structure for the total process from Invitation to Tender through evaluation, award and feedback, which enabled us at the Trust to concentrate on developing the specifications and document compilation. 

“LPP was able to provide the support to carry the project at an efficient and fast pace, as our project had extremely tight deadlines which delivered a successful award and contract for the Trust. 

“In addition, LPP:

  • supported the development of a contract which provides the Trust with the confidence to carry out robust contract monitoring and performance management;
  • produced the bid submission documentation and advised on the wording to encourage companies to look at different ways to present their bid submission.  This in turn gave the Trust a good insight into whether companies could project themselves in new and innovative ways;
  • managed all general queries which assisted the Trust to ensure that all questions were answered appropriately, in a timely fashion and were able to field certain questions;
  • led on all presentations, question and answer sessions, and put together a programme of site visits, liaising with bidding companies to ensure they were beneficial to us as a potential client.

 “An advantage of having the LPP team working with our Trust Procurement lead and Hotel Service leads meant that the Trust put forward a very in-depth document resulting in a very fair and robust process. The Trust felt it benefitted from good communication and liaison between the LPP procurement lead and the Trust Hotel Services Managers.”

24-03-14    Estates Facilities

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