Report of the Director of Public Health
The Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Public Health that reported on key findings of a review of the current commissioning arrangements for Substance Misuse Residential Rehabilitation Programmes for the residents of Sefton and sought authorisation to commence a procurement process and continue to utilise a Dynamic Purchasing System for placements.
The report detailed that the Residential Rehabilitation was part of the local integrated treatment and recovery offer for substance users. Substance use treatment services had been central to sustaining low rates of HIV, injecting related infections and other drug and alcohol related harm. There was a strong body of evidence confirming that investment in drug and alcohol treatment was
cost effective. While the health and social harms caused by substance use
disproportionately affected the most disadvantaged in society, research continued to show a positive association between effective engagement with substance use treatment and a reduction in harm, crime and criminal activities associated with illicit substance use.
Consideration was therefore required on re-procuring Residential Rehabilitation Programmes due to the current extension term expiring on the 31st March 2022.
Decision Made: That:
(1) the Director of Public Health be authorised to conduct an OJEU Light-Touch Regime tender exercise to establish a Dynamic Purchasing System for substance misuse Residential Rehabilitation to run for a period of three years from 1st April 2022 with the option of two further one-year extensions with a ceiling price of £270,000 per annum; and
(2) the Director of Public Health in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing be granted delegated authority to award the contracts to the highest scoring bidders, within the context of the approved budget.
Reasons for the Decisions:
Residential Rehabilitation was an integral part of any drug treatment and recovery system and a vital option for some people requiring treatment for dependency to substances. A recent review of the service has demonstrated there is a need for Residential Rehabilitation placements, and this is ongoing. During 20/21 and the first 6months of 21/22 the demand for placements has virtually doubled since 19/20.
Effective substance use treatment and recovery requires a range of referral pathways and services collaborating to optimise the effect of treatment interventions. Individual stability and progress in recovery is dependent on stability in the treatment system. In line with calls from National Advisory Councils, the recommendation provides scope for longer contract duration and a greater degree of stability and continuity.
A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), as provided for within the 2015 Public Contracts Regulations, will enable Sefton Council to ensure that fair and transparent commissioning arrangements are in place while enabling an individually tailored programme appropriate to the individual’s needs and requirements. The key advantage of a DPS, is that the applicable legislation allows the Council to open the DPS to new applicants at points during its lifespan. This therefore gives the Council the flexibility to take advantage of beneficial changes within the marketplace which may take place over time.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
To have no provision for Residential Rehabilitation. For those who have undergone a programme of treatment and detoxification and have not responded to community rehabilitation, residential rehabilitation programmes provide the opportunity for sustained recovery in a safe and therapeutic residential setting. The necessity for Residential Rehabilitation is more likely for complex clients and increases the likelihood of successful treatment outcome.
To establish a Framework Agreement for commissioning Residential Rehabilitation Programmes. Whilst a Framework Agreement would comply with procurement rules, it does not give the degree of flexibility required to remain responsive to on-going change, as importantly, new providers to the market are prevented from joining a Framework Agreement at any point during its lifespan, usually 4 years.
To “Spot Purchase” as and when Residential Rehabilitation is required. Spot Purchasing requires considerable time to identify and negotiate suitable placements and provides for less transparency and ability to benchmark costs. Also, spot purchasing placement tariffs are often subject to higher costs.
A DPS would enable longer-term contracts to be entered into with a range of approved Residential Rehabilitation Providers providing more service stability and better value in the contract cost.