Your latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report is a valuable tool for winning health & social care tenders. Whether your last report saw you getting that vaunted green star for some or all categories, or identified some issues for you to work on, what is in that report can form a basis for winning tender responses. Here’s how.
At its simplest, your CQC report can be used to benchmark the quality of your care against other providers. If you know the other care companies who might be tendering for the same contracts as you, then pull their reports and see where you stand in comparison. If you have a rating of outstanding while others are just good – that’s a point to emphasise. If the shoe is on the other foot, you know that you will have some work to do to mitigate that.
Comparisons shouldn’t stop with the overall rating, though. Grab your competitors reports and go through them looking for the areas where they do well, and where they could improve. How does that compare to your results? If you are doing better than them, those are areas to emphasise. If they are out-performing you, then you know that you need to describe what you are doing to improve in those areas.
Have you shown improvements from your previous CQC report to your current one? If you have, then you can show that as evidence of how you have taken feedback on board and improved your service. While your first instinct might be to shy away from talking about any past lapses, being able to show how you can take feedback on board and work to improve your service can help with winning health & social care tenders.
If you’ve made that all-important step from a green smartie to a green star for all or part of your service, this is the time to be rightly proud of that. Tenders are not a place to be humble, if you’ve made changes, hired new people, or changed policies that have allowed you to move from good to outstanding, talk about them. Showing your commitment to continuous improvement is important – you’re not happy with good, you want to be outstanding!
It’s tempting to avoid talking about the areas where you’ve performed less well, but it’s important that you tackle these things head-on. If your CQC report identified a problem, you need to explain to the evaluators of the tender what you’ve done to solve those issues. The ideal response would include things like; putting a senior staff member in charge of an investigation; developing a plan to address the problem; how that plan was or is being delivered (e.g. retraining, new policies or procedures); evidence of how this is working – hard evidence such as the number of appointments reached on time, or a customer testimonial, for example.
Quotes & Testimonials
No matter how well you write about your service, being able to evidence it with quotes from the report or the staff and family members the inspector spoke wi bring them to life. Print out your latest report and grab a highlighter, then go through and find text and quotes that align well with the client’s questions. This ‘social proof’ can be a really powerful tool for winning health & social care tenders.
Lastly, use your CQC report to talk about how you have taken the feedback you have been given on board and are driving improvement. If you got any rating less than outstanding last time, this shows your potential client that you may achieve that coveted gold start this time around, but even if you don’t their service users are going to benefit from your continuous improvement
At Bid for Success, we understand that approaching a new tender can be stressful, if not overwhelming. We work with SMEs from all over the country, and in many different industries and we want to support them to do their very best. That’s why we’ve put together our SME Academy – fully-funded bid and tender training for small businesses.
We also have Bid Managers with experience in writing health & social care tenders, so whether you want an experienced eye to give you a bid health check or you want to hand the whole thing over to us to write, we can help – get in touch today.