The Client

  • A Primary Care Trust (PCT) wanting to commission new dental services for NHS patients
  • Commissioning team inexperienced in both dental commissioning within the new legal and contractual framework and (commercial) procurement processes
  • Team leader lacking training or experience in formal project management

The Challenge

  • To gain understanding of a legal and contractual vehicle by which the PCT can secure new dental services for NHS patients
  • To design the service model
  • To identify an appropriate locality or premises for a new practice
  • To bring on board a range of stakeholders and overcome some history of non-cooperation

The Solution
We brought previous experience of NHS healthcare services development and provision, procurement and contracting, including estates and premises issues and provided advice and support for service design and procurement of a new dental service. 

Our inputs included the following:

  • Stakeholder management: interviewed and liaised with various stakeholders, including the local Strategic Partnership, the Community Dental Service, IT providers, and the procurement team
  • Supported and informally coached the team leader in project management role
  • Advised on contract type and required documentation
  • Facilitated development of, and drafted, Summary and Full Specification, Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and Invitation to Tender documents, advising on draft contract preparation, etc.
  • Advised on premises and financial issues
  • Participated in bid evaluation
  • Researched current practices in other PCTs
  • Adopted and adapted a new care model which was under development in another PCT, liaising with other stakeholders and providers
  • Provided administrative support for a new Dental Services Procurement Group

Benefits at a Glance

  • A more structured, more professional approach to commissioning
  • A coherent process for procuring new services through commercial contracts
  • Knowledge transfer, including Project Management methodologies
  • Extra pair of hands, producing documentation, enabling the PCT to meet commissioning deadlines
  • Recognition from the NHS Primary Care Commissioning team for an innovative approach to dental services commissioning


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