Decision details

Tier 3 Short Breaks Contract Extension by Variation

Decision Maker: Cabinet member children and families

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To vary, by a 12-month extension, the existing provider contracts awarded through the council’s Short Breaks Dynamic Purchasing System.

The cost of support provided through the contracts will depend on the assessed needs of individual children and families and will be met from the council’s short breaks budget.

The council provides a range of short breaks for disabled children and their carers and has operated a Dynamic Purchasing System since 2017. The Dynamic Purchasing System itself does not have an end date and has allowed new providers to become approved contractors during the period since 2017. Work will be completed during the proposed extension period to redesign the council’s short breaks offer to secure improved provision from April 2023.



(a)   the Dynamic Purchasing System and current short breaks contracts are extended by variation from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 at an estimated combined cost of £420k

(b)  any new providers that may wish to offer new capacity for short breaks services are enabled to apply for approval to join the Dynamic Purchasing System during 2022/23

(c)   the planned work to recommission the council’s short breaks offer for 2023  onwards, as outlined by paragraphs 12-14, 21 and 29 of this report, is noted

Alternative options considered:

1.             Allow the Dynamic Purchasing System and existing provider contracts to end on 31 March 2022. This is not recommend as it may lead to a break in service for vulnerable children and families. Where existing packages of support for individual children and young people need to continue into 2022/23, new spot-purchase contract arrangements would be required which would create additional administrative pressure on the council and providers that could divert attention from meeting the operational needs of vulnerable children and their families and the strategic redesign of the short breaks offer.


Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Richard Watson, Childrens joint commissioning manager Email: Tel: 01432 383047.

Publication date: 26/07/2022

Date of decision: 26/07/2022

Effective from: 02/08/2022

Accompanying Documents: