Crisis Cafe – Tender Document

/Crisis Cafe – Tender Document

Crisis Cafe – Tender Document

To: Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Providers working alongside individuals with Mental Health issues.


Call for applications

Voluntary and Community Sector Providers are invited to bid for the opportunity to provide a Mental Health Crisis Café for the population of Plymouth.
The proposal is funded recurrently by NEW Devon CCG/PCC (integrated commissioning) and is an opportunity for organisations to develop an innovative, user led approach to providing a more informal way to support individuals in crisis and in need of support, within a non-stigmatised, non-medical setting.

  1. Background

There is increasing evidence to support initiatives that enable individuals with mental health problems to have choice, understand, take control of and manage their own mental health; particularly in times of crisis. The development of Crisis Café’s has proven an effective way of achieving this, by having alternatives to traditional services such as admission to an Emergency Department. Providers are invited to bid to develop a Crisis Café model of service that is able to support a minimum of an additional 712 individuals a year with acute mental health issues.

  1. Purpose of the service

The development of a Crisis Café aims to achieve:

  • Better outcomes for individuals with acute mental health issues
  • Increased satisfaction from those in receipt of services
  • A reduction in admissions to ED by 30% for the target group of individuals
  • Increased capacity in the acute care pathway
  • Fewer admissions to mental health inpatient acute hospital
  • System wide efficiencies
  1. Requirements

The preferred provider will develop a Crisis Café with the aim of supporting at least an additional 712 people a year who are in, or approaching a crisis in terms of their mental health. It is envisaged, based on models of best practice nationally, that:

  • Each individual will be able to access a range of support including up to two 1:1 contacts in an evening, if in crisis
  • Police will be supported in having an alternative to the Emergency Department (ED) to leave someone who is distressed (this is a particular issue for capacity within the Police Force)
  • The Acute Care pathway is supported in having options for supporting people and is able to offer support to the café
  • Individuals will have a non-medical, non-stigmatised, environment in which to reduce their distress
  • Click on link to see an example of an existing operational service


Service Offer

The café will offer a welcoming, safe, friendly and non-stigmatising environment for people to access in times of crisis and as an alternative to ED.  The service will be largely staffed by volunteers who will help customers discuss the nature of their crisis, identify the triggers to it, and ultimately help them identify strengths and coping skills they might use to reduce their distress in order to successfully manage similar situations in the future.
The Café will offer a variety of emotional support, resilience building, recreation and leisure activities, peer-led support, introductions to partner agencies, risk assessment, and opportunities, including some complementary therapies.
It is anticipated that each individual will be able to access the Café for approximately 2 hours and in that time, have a mix of support that might include up to two 1:1 sessions as well as access to other support/activity on offer.
It is envisaged (this will be developed in more detail in the post tender phase of co-production) that opening hours will reflect local need/demand and most likely to be evening and weekends.
The preferred provider will need to ensure that they are able to provide:

  • A building (this may have a dual use and an alternative function during the day).
  • A bank of trained and competent volunteers who have lived experience of mental illness
  • Appropriate levels of skills, governance and operating procedures to ensure the safe and effective delivery of the service
  • The ability to monitor and report evaluation and outcomes


Commissioning Principles

A project group has been established to oversee the development and delivery of the initial specification. This includes The Police, Livewell Southwest, The Plymouth Mental Health Network, NEW Devon CCG/PCC (integrated commissioning) and Heads Count. The group has agreed that:

  • A detailed service specification will be co-produced with the preferred provider in January 2018
  • The café and specification must be designed alongside individuals with lived experience
  • The café will be procured with the objective of securing a well proven provider(s) from within the community and voluntary sector
  • NHS funded mental health services will support the café as well as being able to access it. It will form a fundamental part of the crisis pathway in Plymouth
  • Referral can be via mainstream services or by self-referral/drop in, either in person or by the telephone
  • The commissioning, design and implementation process will be led by the CCG
  • The name has not yet been formally chosen and as an interim is referred to as the “crisis café”. A user led process however will determine the longer term name.



The funding available is recurrent and totals £45,000 a year. This covers all aspects of delivery. The contract will be awarded for 3 years with an option to extend for a further 2 years.
There is also however, an opportunity for potential providers(s) to bid nationally for capital funding (Beyond the Place of Safety), however commissioners would not want a bid to be delayed because of a dependency on this.

Application process

Tenders must be submitted by 9th January 2018 and will be evaluated by 19th January 2018, at which point a preferred provider will be identified.
Applications should be submitted using the attached pro-forma (see page 6). Each question will be scored from 0-5 according to the scoring scheme given below. An overall score shall then be apportioned to each application. The application with the highest overall score will be selected as the preferred provider.

Scoring Scheme
0 No response is provided or the response is not relevant to the question
1 The response significantly fails to meet the standards required, contains significant shortcomings and/or is inconsistent with other aspects of the proposal
2 The response falls short of achieving the expected standard in several key areas
3 The response meets the requirement in certain material respects and provides certain information which is relevant, but which is lacking or inconsistent in material aspects
4 The response meets the requirement in most material respects, but is lacking or inconsistent in some minor respects
5 The response meets the requirement in all material respects and is extremely likely to deliver the required output/outcome

Applications must demonstrate consideration of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, as well as local and STP plans and provide clear evidence of how any number of the following key priorities will be achieved:

  • Promoting positive mental health through community engagement and raising awareness.
  • Promoting independence including opportunities for employment, promoting good health and the prevention of escalation of crises.
  • Promoting resilient communities to support people with mental health issues to tackle social isolation.
  • Providing information on how to access support, housing, employment, and information on changing provision
  • Support individuals to recognise and manage their mental health crises


Process and next steps

The timetable for the delivery of the project is given below:

7th December 2017 Call for applications
9th January 2018 Deadline for applications
19th January 2018 Award of preferred provider announced
22nd January –  2nd February 2018 Period of co-production to develop a detailed specification with the preferred provider
5th February – 31st March 2018, Mobilisation and implementation phase (recruitment, remedial works, communications and promotion)
1st April 2018 Project commences
1st April 2018 Service Evaluation commences

Applicants will need to demonstrate impact and commit to undertaking an evaluation as well as sharing the learning and best practice developed (and outcome benefits) with other areas from across the Devon STP footprint.
Applications must be submitted using the attached pro-forma (Page 6)

Contract Form

The Commissioner will be contracting for the Services using the National NHS Standard Contract/short form. Bidders should carefully study these documents to ensure they are familiar with the obligations on them should they be awarded a contract.
No material negotiation on the terms of the draft contract will be entertained by the Commissioner, and refusal to accept the terms of the draft contract will cause a bidder’s bid to be rejected. Standard, nationally-defined terms are non-negotiable.
Contracts will be for an initial term of 3 years with a possible extension of any period up to a further 24 months as defined and at the discretion of the Commissioner.  Services are planned to commence from 1st April 2018. Please note that this date is subject to change and will be agreed with the winning bidder prior to.

Useful contacts

For any questions/queries, please contact, NEW Devon CCG/Plymouth City Council, Integrated Commissioning – Lin Walton (


In summary, through the implementation of this proposal, it is anticipated that there will be:

  • Better outcomes for individuals with mental health issues
  • Thirty per cent fewer admissions to ED for the target group of individuals
  • Increased capacity in the acute care pathway
  • Fewer admissions to hospital
  • System wide efficiencies and benefits
Application Form
By |2017-12-20T13:03:21-05:00December 20th, 2017|Categories: Charity, Commissioning, Crisis Cafe|Tags: , |0 Comments

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