Accredited versus Framework Provider – definitions

Some confusion seems to have arisen around the difference between the Home Support Framework and the Accredited Provider list and the following guide will hopefully clarify some of the differences.

In Norfolk we’ve traditionally grouped our home support providers into two different sets: block providers, who hold contracts with Norfolk County Council to offer a guaranteed number of home support hours in a specific geographical area; and spot providers, who take on home support packages of care on a case by case basis when the block provider is unable to do so.

As we move forward to a new style of procuring services in Norfolk, you will start to hear us talk about Accredited and Framework providers, but what’s the difference and how do you know which one you are?

Who does this apply to?

First of all: if you work in either the West Norfolk CCG area or the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG area, the changes do not apply to you. In these two CCG areas we are retaining the Block Contracts and using Spot Providers where the Block Provider is unable to pick up packages of care.  We might look at developing a Framework structure in these areas in the future, but at the moment you are not affected by the changes in the way we procure home support.  It might still be useful for you to read about the changes in the central areas so you understand the changes and new models.

If you work in the North Norfolk CCG area, the Norwich CCG area or the South Norfolk CCG area you will be affected by the change brought about by the introduction of the new Framework contracting arrangements in these areas.

You can see a picture of which area each CCG covers here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/resources/ccg-maps/

 Accredited Providers: 

Accredited Providers have been through an accreditation process with Norfolk County Council to check the quality of care they offer, their financial stability and to agree which types of support they can offer in which geographies. Providers on the accredited provider list will be offered packages of care from Norfolk County Council on an ad hoc basis, with no guarantee of being offered any hours, but also no obligation to pick up any cases either. A list of accredited providers is published on the Norfolk County Council website to help people paying for and/or arranging their own care.

Recently Norfolk County Council announced an intention to close the accredited provider list to new entrants (see above). This means that from 1 July 2017 no more providers will be able to apply to be included on the accredited provider list.  If your application to the list has already been submitted and is in progress, this will continue through the process as normal.  The list of current providers will still be published and updated regularly and providers already on the list will still be offered packages of care on an ad hoc basis where this is necessary.

Norfolk County Council’s long term intention is for most of the care packages in Norfolk to be picked up by the Framework Providers (see below) and reduce the Council’s reliance on Accredited Providers.

To find out if you are an Accredited Provider you need to check that your company appears on the Accredited Provider list here:

Accredited Provider List

Framework Providers: 

Framework Providers have been through a more robust procurement evaluation process with Norfolk County Council, as part of a tender process which took place recently under a specific time frame.

The providers who were accepted onto the Framework will now be offered all packages of care from Norfolk County Council first and before Accredited non-Framework Providers.  We expect Framework Providers to work together to develop their businesses, create efficient rounds of care and in this way increase resilience, stability and efficiency in the system. In the long run we expect most of the care packages in Norfolk will be picked up by our Framework Providers, significantly reducing our reliance on Accredited non-Framework Providers, and we will support them to grow their businesses in this way.

There are currently three Frameworks in place or about to be put in to place in Norfolk: North Norfolk CCG area; Norwich CCG area; and South Norfolk CCG area.  We might look at developing a Framework structure in West Norfolk CCG area and Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG area in the future but an exact time frame for this has not been set yet.

Currently the Frameworks are closed, which means that no new providers can apply to join them.  We may reopen the Frameworks to new providers in the future if this is deemed necessary to ensure good, efficient and stable supply of Home Support across Norfolk.

You will know you are a Framework Provider if you submitted an application to the tender process within the stated timeline and have received a Contract Award letter from Norfolk County Council confirming this.

What can I do if I am unsure what type of provider I am? 

First, check the accredited provider list here:

Accredited provider list

If you are on this list you are an Accredited Provider.

Secondly, did you apply to join the Framework with NCC through Intend? Have you received a Contract Award letter? If the answer to both of these questions is ‘yes’ you are a Framework Provider.

If you are still not sure what type of provider you are, you can contact our Procurement Team on:

Tel. 01603 223099 or e-mail: procurementsccm@norfolk.gov.uk

Will I… Accredited Provider Framework Provider
…appear on the Home Care Provider list published publicly by Norfolk County Council? Yes Yes
…get offered packages of care before other providers? No Yes
…get offered packages of care if Framework Providers are unable to pick them up? Yes Yes
…be allowed to attend Locality Provider Forums? Yes Yes
…be invited to meetings with other Framework Providers? No Yes
…be invited to other Home Support meetings and groups? Yes Yes
…be able to apply to become a Framework provider before another tender process opens? No No