Report of the Head of Health and Wellbeing.
The Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Health and Wellbeing in relation to Children, Young People and Families Public Health Commissioned Services. The report detailed the reasons for the proposal to extend the existing contracts for a further 1-year period for both the Sefton’s Integrated 0-19 Healthy Child Programme Service and for also the Sefton’s Young People and Family Substance Use Service – We are With You.
Decision Made: That:
the authorisation of an out of contract 1-year extension to the existing 0-19 Integrated Healthy Child Programme contract and Young People and Family Substance Use Service contract both of which are due to expire on 31st March 2022, be approved; and
the authorisation of a novation of the 0-19 Integrated Healthy Child Programme contract to the Mersey Care Foundation Trust, be approved.
Reasons for the Decisions:
Services have been working in business continuity for the last 14 months, adapting and responding to the requirements and restrictions associated with COVID-19 guidance. Currently, the services are going through a period of recovery and restoration which needs to be fully exercised to ensure stability in service delivery.
The impacts of COVID-19 on children, young people and families are significant and long lasting. Themes are emerging, which include a decline in emotional health and wellbeing, widening inequalities and increased demand on specialist services. As children return to school and services resume face to face delivery, issues hidden during restrictive periods are presenting. Time to fully assess the changing needs of children, young people and families is required to enable the design of future services that are responsive to those needs.
There is provision for this allocation via a contract variation under Regulation 72 of the Public Contract Regulations which states:
“Contracts and framework agreements may be modified without a new procurement procedure in accordance with this Part in any of the following cases:
c) where all the following conditions are fulfilled: -
(i) the need for modification has been brought about by circumstances which a diligent contracting authority could not have foreseen;
(ii) the modification does not alter the overall nature of the contract;
(iii) any increase in price does not exceed 50% of the value of the original contract or framework agreement.
In this instance:
(i) the need for modification has been brought about by the Impact of COVID-19 as described within this report and could not have been foreseen.
(ii) the request to extend the contract does not alter the existing conditions within the contracts
(iii) any increase in price will not exceed 50% of the value of the original contract or framework agreement.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
To re-tender the services. This is not the preferred option due to the services working in business continuity during COVID-19 restrictive periods and the potentially destabilising effect on the wider system. The preferred option is for the services to have time to go through a period of restoration and for the emerging impacts of COVID-19 on children, young people and families to be fully realised and reviewed to inform future service redesign.