Decision details

Assistive Technology - Tender Outcome

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To provide a summary of the recent Assistive Technology tender exercise and identify the highest scoring provider and commence contract negotiations.


A report by the Interim Director of Social Services outlined the recent tendering exercise for the provision of an Assistive Technology assessment service and Telecare installation, monitoring, maintenance and response service.  Based on the outcomes of this tendering exercise, the report included a recommendation for the provider of this service and sought approval from the Cabinet to proceed to implementing the contract.


Members noted that Assistive Technology, which included Telecare, frequently used simple and discreet technology to help individuals live safely and independently in their own home, whilst also providing carer support.  An individual’s needs were assessed, resulting in a personalised support package, consisting of tailored equipment and a detailed plan of what action to take should an alert be triggered.  Assistance was available to individuals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year via connection to a monitoring/response centre.


The Director reported that as from July 2011, there were over 3,800 people in Wirral being supported by this service, with this figure projected to rise to over 4,000 by October 2011 and over 4,600 by April 2012. The vast majority of these individuals were older people.


Wirral Assistive Technology service provision was via a contract with Seniorlink Eldercare.  The contract had commenced in April 2008 and was due to continue until October 2011.  The contract had been significantly varied since 2008 to reflect continued development of this innovative service.  Due to such developments, the advice from the Council’s Legal Services was that these variations were so significant, in terms of scope and value of resultant activity, that it was necessary to re-tender the service.


Details of the evaluation for the tenders received, including identification of the provider which evaluated highest overall was contained within exempt Appendix 1 (Minute No. 111 refers).  This information was exempt under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) as the information was considered to be commercially sensitive as it would be likely to prejudice the commercial interest of the successful tenderer and the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.


The budget for this service for 2011/2012 was £1,530,300 (including costs of equipment).  This included £174,000 from NHS Wirral (£84,500 yet to be confirmed from October 2011).


The Director informed that existing costs for the elements of the service of assessment, installation, maintenance of equipment, review, monitoring and response (excluding cost of equipment), had been compared to the proposed costs provided within this procurement exercise, and in almost all aspects there had been a notable reduction.  Overall, the costs for the new contract could be seen to represent significantly improved value for money compared to current costs for the same levels of activity.  However, it was noted that the original contract had been awarded in 2008, following a tendering exercise, when it was identified as the most economically advantageous at that time.  The current tariff reflected the growth of this market and the increase in competition.


The new specification allowed for all key aspects of the service to be contained, if necessary, and would provide an effective mechanism for controlling expenditure. The specification and tender was on a cost/volume basis rather than on agreed levels of activity. The contract and payments would be based on actual activity delivered at a fixed cost rather than having a pre-agreed total contract value (although an upper limit would be specified).


The contract would be for 12 months running from 1 October 2011 with an option to extend for a further 12 months.  This timeline combined with the approach outlined in 1.8 above would support continued developments towards personal budgets.


The Director was now in a position to name the successful tenderer as McWain Smart for Members’ information.




That the provider identified as McWain Smart for the provision of an Assistive Technology assessment service and Telecare installation, monitoring, maintenance and response service resulting from a tender process conducted under the OJEU (Official Journal of European Union) open procedure as detailed in exempt Appendix 1 be approved.


Councillor P Davies left the Chair and the meeting whilst the next item of business was under consideration.


Councillor G Davies in the Chair.

Report author: Director of Adult Social Services

Publication date: 06/09/2011

Date of decision: 01/09/2011

Decided at meeting: 01/09/2011 - Cabinet

Effective from: 14/09/2011

Accompanying Documents: