i. APPROVE the extension of the contracted Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service (contract number SS17033) with We Are With You for a period of fifteen months, from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2024; and
ii. DELEGATE authority to the Director of Public Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into and finalising the terms of relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary, to implement the decision.
Reason for the decision:
The Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service contract is due to end on 31 December 2022 and following a review of the service, the recommendation is to extend the contract by 15 months to align all KCC-commissioned drug and alcohol contracts to end in March 2024. This will give the Council maximum flexibility and opportunity to re-commission in a way that will effectively support Kent residents in the future. Commissioners plan to procure all the contracts as one exercise which will allow for economies of scale for the process and shared engagement with all the market. The original contract has provisions for the extension and the proposed extension is compliant with Public Contract Regulations 2015.
The Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service contract, as delivered by Addaction, which later rebranded as We Are With You (With You), commenced on 1 January 2018, to provide an integrated substance misuse service for young people in Kent. The service is for those aged 11-18 with the flexibility to provide interventions for those aged 18-24 who have an identified need for the young person’s provision (rather than simply accessing the adult provision). The service incorporates evidence-based specialist community treatment, early interventions and workforce development.
The contract is due to end on 31 December 2022 (five years in total) with an option to extend for an additional two years. Given the good performance of the current contract, the identified opportunity to gain efficiencies in the procurement process by joint procurement with the other substance misuse services and the potential for disruption to vulnerable individuals by making unnecessary changes, it is recommended that the extension to the contract is enacted.
Options (other options considered but discarded):
Decommission the service - Decommissioning the service was concluded as a non-viable option that would place KCC in breach of the Public Health grant’s conditions.
Retender the service – Retendering the service now would not enable the Council to recommission all KCC-commissioned drug and alcohol services together, which may result in missed opportunities for efficiencies.
How the proposed decision supports the Council’s Strategy 2022-26:
The service contributes to the ‘Priority 1: Levelling up Kent’ via harm-reduction and structured treatment of early onset substance misuse issues, which secures long term health outcomes for the young people in Kent.
Harmonising the end dates and lifecycles of all the commissioned drug and alcohol services gives KCC the opportunity to conduct our planning and commissioning processes in an efficient way, in alignment with the ‘Priority 4: New Models of Care’ of the Council’s Strategy 2022-26.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/08/2022
Decision due: Not before 25th Oct 2022 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead director: Dr Anjan Ghosh
Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
Public consultation undertaken or planned:
No consultation for the purpose of the extension.
Stakeholder consultation formed part of the commissioning process when the contract was initially tendered. Public Consultation will form part of re-commissioning of future services in 2024.
Cabinet Committee consultation planned:
The proposed decision was discussed at Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee on 20 September 2022.
Financial implications: Commissioners estimate that the 15 months extension (from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2024) will require commitment of £985,083.30, of which £869,299.55 will come from the Public Health grant. The remaining £115,783.75 is anticipated to come from the Police and Crime Commissioner, which is in line with the annual funding they have previously contributed since the contract started. Whilst the final value is still subject to supplier agreement and Public Health grant allowing, a fixed and firm figure will be stated in the extension documentation.
Legal implications: As the original contract has provisions to extend for up to 2 years and to terminate at any time by giving three months’ written notice, the proposed extension is in accordance with Regulation 72 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which set out the legal basis for Local Authority modifying contracts without a new procurement procedure. The local authority’s Public Health grant require the Authority to “have regard to the need to improve the take up of, and outcomes from, its drug and alcohol misuse treatment services”.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) was undertaken by commissioners when the service was commissioned in 2017 and has been reviewed as part of this extension. Data Protection implications: General Data Protection Regulations are part of current service documentation for the contract and there is a Schedule of Processing, Personal Data and Data Subjects confirming who is data controller/ processor. There is also an existing DPIA relating to the data that is shared between KCC, the provider and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (previously named Public Health England) and the services.