Any Qualified Provider (AQP)

Elective Surgery Services

Cheshire & Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit

on behalf of

NHS South Cheshire and NHS Vale Royal CCG’s, Halton CCG, Warrington CCG, East Cheshire CCG, South Sefton CCG, Southport and Formby CCG and Liverpool CCG.

Reference: CMCSU 14/001/A

Document 3: AQP Qualification Questionnaire

Guidance Notes

Table of Contents

Section 1 – Introduction

  1. Purpose3
  2. Instructions and Guidance for Completion3
  3. Qualification Submission Clarification3
  4. Qualification Timetable4
  5. Use of the Delta eSourcing Portal4

Section 2 - Assessment Criteria



3Service Delivery7

4.Assessment of Financial Statements19


  1. Purpose
  1. The purpose of this document is to provide information and instructions to allow Potential Providers to submit a response for qualification to deliver Acute Elective Surgeryusing the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) process.
  1. Instructions and Guidance for Completion

2.1 Where a specific response is required it must besubmitted in the box provided.

2.2 All judgements are made solely on the information provided in the submission, so please take care to ensure that full answers are provided where called for. This is particularly important to note if you are known to or have had past or current relationships with the Contracting Authority as prior knowledge cannot be used to assess the documentation.

2.3 There areassessment criteriaof Pass/Fail which will be applied to the Service Delivery and Legal sections of the qualification document. A detailed criterion is available inSection 3 Service Delivery and Financial Assessment Criteria.

  1. Qualification Submission Clarification

3.1 Cheshire & Merseyside CSU and the Contracting Authorities reserve the right to request Potential Providers to clarify any part of their qualification response. Any requests for clarification will be issued via the Delta eSourcing Portal. Potential Providers are encouraged to check the website regularly during the process as failure to respond may result in your submission not been qualified. When a question has been raised by the assessment team the provider will be sent an email detailing the question raised. Providers will have 48 hours to respond to the query.

3.2 Ifthe Potential Provider fails to provide an adequate response to one or more points of clarification, or fails to respond in a timely manner, the Potential Provider may be excluded from progressing further in the process.

  1. Qualification Timetable

4.1 Table 1is the timetable for the qualification process. This is intended as a guide and whilst Cheshire & Merseyside CSU does not intend to depart from the timetable it reserves the right to do so at any time.

Table 1

Stage / Dates
Any Qualified Provider (AQP) questionnaire published on Delta eSourcing Portal / Fri 20th June, 2014
AQP Provider Clarification Questions
Final Date for Request for Information / Fri 11th July, 2014
AQP submissions must be completed / Fri 18th July, 2014
Assessment of submissions / Mon 21st July-Mon 11th Aug, 2014
Providers notified of qualification / Thu 4th Sept, 2014 (Dependent on availability of Board for sign-off)
Contract Award / 1st October, 2104
Contract Mobilisation / October, 2104
Service Commencement / Providers will be given a 3 month window in which to commence service ie by 1st January, 2015
  1. Use of the Delta eSourcing Portal

5.1Bidders must note that any communication in relation to this tender must be made via the Delta eSourcing suite. Under no circumstances should any other form of contact be used to engage with CMCSU or CCG staff.

5.2Bidders are reminded that you have free access to a range of advisory services within the Delta eSourcing suite. Particular reference must be made to the user guide” Response Manager” to ensure full understanding of the PQQ/ITT response procedure. Telephone access to the Delta e Sourcing helpdesk is also available by ringing 0845 270 7050.

5.3Within the “Response Manager Guide please refer to “Responding to an opportunity – Three Stage Process” which clearly explains the process to be followed from downloading the ITT documents, preparation of response and response submission.


  1. Familiarise yourself with the Delta e Sourcing Suite and the Supplier user guides once you have registered and created a supplier profile.
  2. Always give yourself adequate time to upload your ITT response. Do not wait until the last minute. Failure to submit your response in line with the closure time and date may result in your response being deemed un-acceptable and unable to be considered.
  3. Ensure that you follow the procedure for submitting your response, ensuring that you click on the “Submit Response” button. This action will generate a pop up message.

Section 2 Assessment Criteria


Please note that it is a mandatory requirement to respond to every question on the qualification form. In order to qualify for the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) process all questions with assessment criteria of pass/fail must be assessed as a pass.

1.1In securing services from providers using the (AQP) model, NHS commissioners need assurance of competence, quality and safety. This process aims to ensure that appropriate information is gathered from providers for the relevant sections of the qualification form for this assurance to be secured.

1.2This document sets out the criteria against which providers will be assessed after completing the on-line form.


2.1Table 2 shows how each of the questions will be assessed.

2.2Some of the responses required are for information purposes only; others have a pass/fail element to them.

Table 2

Section / Requirement / Required Response / Assessment
Section 1: Offer Details
1.1 Declarations
1.1.1 / Servicelines/Locality – For information / Positive / Tick as Appropriate
1.1.2 / Confirmation of relevant policies / Pass/Fail
1.1.3 / Pricing model confirmation / Pass/Fail
1.2 NHS Standard Contract
1.2.1 / Agreement to terms of NHS Standard Contract / Positive / Pass/Fail
1.3 Financial
1.3.1 / Consent to credit reference / Positive / Pass/Fail
1.3.2 / Confirmation of1.3.2 / Pass/Fail
Section 2: Address
2.1.1 / Applicants representatives details / Information provided / For Information
2.2.1 / Organisation’s legal entity name & address
2.3.1 / Parent organisation
2.3.2 / Parent organisation – name & address
2.4 Premises for Service Delivery
2.4.1 / Mobile facilities / Information provided / For Information
2.4.2 / Percentage of mobile delivery / For Information
2.4.3 / Premises – address details / For Information
Section 3: Organisation
3.1 Organisation Category
3.1.1 / Organisation category (one of the following can be selected) / Information provided / For Information
3.1.2 / Company Registration Number / For Information
3.1.3 / SME / For Information
3.1.3 / Charitable organisation / For Information
3.2 Incorporated Organisation
3.2.1 / Registered Name / Information Provided (if applicable) / For Information
3.2.2 / Trading Name / For Information
3.2.3 / Previous Name (if applicable) / For Information
3.2.4 / Companies House Registered Number / For Information
3.2.5 / Date of Incorporation / For Information
3.2.6 / Country of Registration / For Information
3.3 Consortium / Partnership Arrangements
3.3.1 / Your Organisation is bidding to provide goods and/or services required itself / Information Provided / For Information
3.3.2 / Your Organisation is bidding in the role of Prime Contractor and intends to use third parties to provide some of the goods and/or services / For Information
3.3.3 / The applicant is a Consortium or Special Purpose Vehicle / For Information
3.3.4 / If the applicant is a Consortium or Special Purpose Vehicle please provide further details here / For Information
3.4 Proportion of Contract Sub Contracted or Provided by a Third Party (to be completed if you answered Yes to 3.3.2)
3.4.1 / Organisation Name / Information provided (if applicable) / For Information
3.4.2 / Element of the service they will deliver / For Information
3.4.3 / Proportion of the total requirement you propose they will directly deliver (%) / For Information
3.4.4 / Composition and Governance of the Supply Chain. / For Information
Section 4: Licence and Regulations
4.1 NHS Provider Licence
4.1.1 / Organisation requires NHS provider licence / Information provided (if applicable) / For Information
4.1.2 / NHS provider licence details / For Information
4.1.3 / NHS provider status details / For Information
4.2 CQC Registration
4.2.1 / CQC registration / Information provided / For Information
4.2.2-4.2.9 / CQC registration details / Pass/Fail
4.2.10 / CQC Documentation / For Information
4.3 Staffing Licences
4.3.1 / Does the applicant have staff in place to deliver the service / Information provided (if applicable) / For Information
4.3.2 / If you have answered "Yes" to question 4.3.1 please provide details of the staff and their relevant licence/qualification. Please provide the Staff Name; Licence/Qualification; Registration Number; and Primary Location. / Pass/Fail
4.3.3 / If you have answered "No" to question 4.3.1, please provide details of staff recruitment will be carried out / Pass/Fail
Section 5: Service Delivery
5.1 / Details of Previous/Current Contracts (up to 3 contracts of similar type) / Information provided / For Information
5.2 / Service delivery / Meets assessment criteria / Pass/Fail
5.3 / Care pathway / Pass/Fail
5.4 / Local services / Pass/Fail
5.5 / Local agreements / Pass/Fail
5.6 / Clinical governance / Pass/Fail
5.7 / Innovation / Information provided (if applicable) / For Information
5.8 / Staff / Meets assessment criteria / Pass/Fail
5.9 / Additional local questions / Pass/Fail
Section 6: IM&T
6.1 / IM&T system compliance / Compliant / Pass/Fail
6.2 / System status / Compliant / Pass/Fail
6.3 / NHS email account / For Information / For Information
6.4 / Local IM&T requirements / Compliant (if applicable) / Pass/Fail
6.5 / Data Protection Act / Compliant / Pass/Fail
Section 7: Legal
7.1 / Financial Accounts / Information Provided / Pass/Fail
7.2 / Insurance Information / Pass/Fail
7.3 / Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) / For Information
Section 8: Document Upload Area
8.1 / Document Upload Area / Information Provided / For Information
Section 9: Declarations
9.1 / Confirmation of clinicians delivery / Meets assessment criteria / Pass/Fail
9.2 / Litigation and Regulatory Declarations / Compliant / Pass/Fail
9.3 / Final declaration / Information provided / Pass/Fail

2.3Each section of the form will be assessed individually and a fail on one or more sections will result in an overall fail.

  1. Table 4 shows the questions that will be asked on the on-line form and the bullet points give an indication of the areas that the commissioner expects the provider to cover in their response, providing evidence and examples where appropriate.

2.5Each bid will be divided up into the sections listed in Table 2 and will be allocated and distributed to different members of the evaluation panel. The members of the evaluation panel will only review and score the particular section relevant to their expertise and will not necessarily review the entire tender submission.

2.6Each member of the evaluation panel will independently score each bid submission using the scoring principles listed in Table 3

2.7A moderation meeting will then be held where the evaluation panel will convene to review and agree scores for questions where more than one evaluation panel member has evaluated the response. The aim of the moderation meeting is for evaluation panel members to agree on and produce a pass or fail score for each question response based on the scoring principles listed in Table 3.

Table 3

Assessment Criteria / Result
Question not answered or there is some information missing. The response does not meet the full criteria and there is limited information provided or an answer that largely fails to address the question or that is flawed in aspects. There are significant gaps and no evidence that issues will be addressed and or managed in line with expectations and the standards required. / Fail
A comprehensive answer to the question in terms of detail, accuracy and relevance. A good degree of evidence to show the Bidder’s ability toachieve what is stated within the response and achieves the required standard of delivery. / Pass

3.Service Delivery

3.1Section 5 of the on-line form; Service Delivery will be assessed using the assessment criteria as detailed in table 2 and will cover the following areas:

  • 5.2 - Service Experience
  • 5.3 - Care Pathway
  • 5.4 - Local Services
  • 5.5 - Local Agreements
  • 5.6 - Clinical Governance
  • 5.8 - Staff
  • 5.9 - Additional Local Questions

3.2The Service Delivery questions will be assessed on an individual basis by members of an assessment team against the published criteria.

3.3Following independent assessments there will be an assessment meeting to discuss responses and to agree whether a Potential Provider’s submission can be qualified.

3.4Providers are advised to pay particular attention to the bulleted points following the questions that indicate to providers what commissioners are looking for in response to these questions.

3.5Please note that 5.1 - Contracts and 5.7 - Innovation sections of the Service Delivery section of the on-line form is for information only and will not be assessed using the assessment criteria in table 2.

3.6It should be noted that those questions that have a word count and applicants are required to use these word counts as the maximum number of accepted words. Any words provided above this word count will not be evaluated by the evaluation panel.

Table 4

5.2 Service Delivery (Pass/Fail)
5.2.1With reference to the offer documentation please describe the experience you have of delivering this service and how you intend to deliver this service for the duration of the contract.
Word count: 2000 words
You are expected to provide full details of your ability to deliver the Acute Elective Surgery for the duration of the AQP qualification period of 3 years.
Your response should include but not be limited to details of how you will:
  • Meet the expected outcomes of the service.
  • Use Choose & Book to manage referrals Meet the information reporting and quality requirements – outlining data collection tools, storage, presentation of information to the commissioner.
  • Market/promote service to stakeholders, including an outline of who the key stakeholders will be in relation to delivering this service, and how this will be separate to any private service provision marketing (where relevant).
  • Ensure business continuity and submit any plans to demonstrate your answer e.g. a management plan or operational policy.
  • Gather patient and peer feedback/experience and how you intend to use the information to improve quality.
  • Engage with the commissioner when new guidance is implemented, in advance of any pathway changes that would materially change the service model.
  • Ensure that service provision under this contract is for NHS services and how you will ensure a clear distinction is in place for managing private patients (where relevant).
  • How you intend to work with other organisations to support patients in the management of their Acute Elective Surgeryneeds. Include evidence of how benefits of treatment and implications are explained to the patient.
  • Show how review periods are set based upon patient's condition and how follow-up appointments are scheduled
  • Include in particular the emergency referral procedures for patients with diabetes, ulceration or infection
  • Indicate how patients contact the service in an emergency, including the emergency out of hour’s protocol.
  • Describe your process for obtaining diagnostic tests e.g. blood tests, x rays, diagnostic ultrasound etc.
  • Describe your approach to ensure that the clinical environment is safe, secure and suitable for clinical practice.
  • Describe your process to ensure that patients receive appropriate health education and information related to their condition and current risk status.
  • Indication of signposting to services out of scope of this service where clinically appropriate e.g. smoking cessation or weight management, examples of patient information leaflets e.g. diabetes, orthoses, etc.
  • Describe how the advice is tailored to suit the individual’s needs (e.g. Leaflets in simple language, verbal/printed advice, speech recognition software etc.)
  • Description of how clinical outcomes are measured and evaluated.
Please illustrate your answers with any relevant past experiences where appropriate.
5.3 Care Pathway (Pass/Fail)
5.3 reference to the offer documentation please provide details of your care pathway – particularly a description of how you will integrate with local health services to deliver your care pathway.
Word count: 2000 words
You are expected to detail how you would deliver all the required elements of the 3 year pathway to patients, from referral to discharge, including the annual aftercare for those patients at the end of their individual 3 year pathway.
Your response should include but not be limited to details of the:
  • Assessment process – including methods of communicating with patients; outcome measures to be used; management options to be offered to patients; individual management plan details; data recording process.
  • Fitting process – including the option of one stage assess and fit and how this is offered to patients; equipment available to patients and how equipment is sourced and managed; patient education.
  • Discharge process.
  • How choice is offered.
  • Review process – any re-call process; and discharge process.
  • Indicate how links are made to appropriate referral pathways when necessary and highlight seamless integration with the health economy and other
local health providers
  • Show how care pathways are linked to NICE guidelines (where they exist), particularly in respect to :-
  • NICE Clinical Guidelines 10 for the prevention and management of foot disease in people with diabetes and for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis

5.3.2Please provide proposals on how you intend to provide follow-up care where appropriate. The response should include the timings, frequency and nature of the follow-up.
Word count: 2500 words
You are expected to detail how you intend to deliver any necessary follow-up care. If it is not to be delivered by you please indicate how you will ensure the care is delivered.
Your response should include but not be limited to details of:
  • How patients can access follow-up and aftercare.
  • Referral process back to GP for any on-going aftercare and process for referral back to GP for re-assessment when needed.
  • How you intend to facilitate movement of patients between providers who are on an existing aftercare pathway, i.e. Diabetes rheumatoid arthritis etc

5.4 Local services (Pass/Fail)
5.4.1Please describe how you intend to work with local Health and Social Care services, including referral and emergency protocols where necessary.
Word count: 2500 words
Here you should detail how you intend to work with other local health providers to ensure that your patients receive the best possible care, including referral pathways, should they require further treatment that you cannot provide yourself and emergency protocols where relevant.
You are expected to provide the referral process you will undertake, including timescales, to include but not be limited to, how you will manage: