North Yorkshire Council


Health and Adult Services


Executive Member Meeting


1 September 2023


REPORT TO Director of Public Health in consultation with Corporate Director of Health and Adult Services (HAS) and Executive Member for Health and Adult Services


Re-Procurement of Participation Support Service



1.0          Purpose Of Report


Seeking approval to conduct the procurement of a Participation Support Service in a single lot, the procurement route being an open bid process, with a contract period of 5 years in total (3+2) commencing on 1 April 2024.





2.0          Background

This is a re-procurement of an existing provision. The current countywide Participation Support Service has been established since 2012.


The aim of the service is to support people with a learning disability and/or autism to

·         Speak up on issues that affect them and other people with a learning disability and/or autism, and coproduce solutions

·         Lead and contribute to the work of the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board (NYLDPB)

·         Take part in a range of coproduction and engagement activities as representatives of the Partnership Board


The service is critical to developing and enabling the participation of people with a learning disability and/or autism in the Directorate’s work as well as that of the Council more broadly. It is crucial to the delivery of the Directorate’s requirements and ambitions around coproduction, as set out in the CQC Assurance Framework, HAS 2025 and HAS improvement themes. This links into the development and delivery of strategies including the Learning Disability Strategy and Autism Strategy, as well as supporting Public Health priorities through the coproduction of solutions to health and social inequalities.   


The service is critical in involving people with lived / living experience to influence and improve practice and work hand-in-hand with the practice team to achieve this.



3.0          Issues

Key features of the new service include:

·         Access to in-person, online and digital self-advocacy opportunities for people with a learning disability and/or autism across all areas of North Yorkshire

·         Commitment to providing a strengths-based and solutions-focused approach to support, which enables self-advocates to develop peer support networks

·         An innovative approach to participation, including use of a range of creative techniques

·         Effective promotion of the service to increase the number of self-advocates and carers involved in the work of Partnership Board, including collaborative working with in-house and external providers


4.0          Performance Implications

Working with the Directorate’s Contracting team, robust contract monitoring will be put in place to measure the contract’s performance against the outcomes specified within the contract documents.


5.0          Financial Implications

The proposed financial envelope is accounted for within the Engagement and Governance budget.


6.0          Legal Implications

Procurement and Legal Services are involved in the contract re-procurement. The procurement exercise will be undertaken in accordance with the Council’s Procurement and Contract Procedure Rules and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.


7.0          Consultation undertaken and responses


Engagement has been taken with a range of stakeholders including people who access or could access the service, family carers, NYC colleagues, provider organisations and other NYLDPB members. Positive feedback was received about the service’s role in supporting people to develop confidence and speak-up. People with a learning disability and/or autism indicated a desire for an online/ digital offering, and more creative opportunities such as photography and drama. Promotion of the service was also highlighted as a key priority for the new service. These suggestions will be incorporated into the new service specifications.


Engagement with the market was also undertaken via a questionnaire available on YorTender from 29 May to 30 June 2023.


8.0          Impact on other services/organisations

Through the Partnership Board, the Participation Support Service works with a range of other Directorates across the Council to enable self-advocates’ participation in engagement and coproduction activities.


Examples of this to-date include: feedback on accessible easy read materials, participation in Let’s Talk engagement activities, and feedback about NYC-managed websites.


The Partnership Board also works collaboratively with a range of other organisations, including North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board and NHS ICBs. The Participation Support Service supports self-advocates’ involvement in and leadership of this work to achieve shared priorities.


9.0 Environmental impact

It is proposed that the new contract includes a requirement to offer digital/online participation options. This has the potential to have a positive environmental impact by reducing unnecessary journeys.





10.0     Recommendation


It is recommended that the Director of Public Health approves the proposal to procure a Participation Support Service as detailed above.


Name and title of report author

Claire Canavan, Participation and Engagement Team Manager, Health and Adult Services