Decision details

21/00053 - SEN Therapies Commissioning Strategy

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Proposed decision –

 

Implement A Qualified Provider List to fulfil the Council’s responsibilities for SEN Therapies provision – which will meet the needs identified in a child’s Education Health and Care Plan and where there is an identified gap in health provision.

 

         Decision required because total value of contracts will exceed threshold for a Key Decision.

 

         Background – KCC currently commission a range of therapy services to meet the needs identified in a child’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and where there is an identified gap in health provision.  Services are currently purchased from multiple different providers, ranging from special schools to individual therapists.

 

         There are currently three distinct arrangements in place, Preferred Provider List, Non-preferred providers and personalised funding arrangements.

 

         Services are currently purchased from over 47 providers, ranging from special schools to individual therapists.  The types of therapies purchased include speech and language, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), hydrotherapy, play therapy and Occupational Therapy (OT).

 

Options                  

 

1. Do Nothing.

 

         The services continue to be delivered via the current spot purchasing                   arrangements - no additional staff resources would be required or disruption to delivery of current service levels. However, this option does not comply with the Public Contract Regulations 2015. Therefore, the current arrangements limit KCC’s ability to shape and control the market to ensure the right capacity and provision is available. KCC has limited influence over the outcomes of the service and limited contract management tools to improve supplier poor-performance.

                    

2. Establish a Dynamic Purchasing System

 

         Implementing a DPS would have limited disruption to status quo and delivery of current services. The DPS would allow new entrants into the market with providers being required to pass a minimum capability standard can be split into lots to accommodate different specialism, or location.

 

         There is however, currently a complex supply market, with a mixture of larger suppliers, NHS providers, charities, and sole traders. The market is also delicate in that there are scarcity of provision and supply in particular with Occupational Therapy services and is essential that care is taken to prevent destabilising the current market that we have. These differing categories of suppliers could result in a variable appetite for a formal tender process, possibly impacting continuity of supply.

                    

3. Establish a Qualified Provider List

 

         The Proposed decision to establish a Qualified Provider List would enable KCC to stabilise this market and allow better planning for future demand for services.  This option is also preferrable for smaller providers.

 

         Currently there is a preferred provider list and qualities framework to ensure best outcomes for children and young people, however moving to a QPL, will in addition provide some stability and sustainability to this market and provide a compliant contractual basis to work more closely with providers when planning future requirements.

 

Risks

 

           The risk if we do not take a decision are discussed in Option 1, this option does comply with the Public Contract Regulations 2015. Therefore, the current arrangements limit KCC’s ability to shape and control the market to ensure the right capacity and provision is available. KCC has limited influence over the outcomes of the service and limited contract management tools to improve supplier poor-performance.

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, I agree to:

 

A)  Implement a Qualified Provider List for Special Educational Needs Therapies provision to fulfil the Council’s responsibilities in meeting the needs identified in a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan.

B) Delegate decisions about the establishment of the new arrangements to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education, or other Officer as instructed by the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education

 

Publication date: 16/07/2021

Date of decision: 16/07/2021

Effective from: 24/07/2021

Accompanying Documents: