Innovation Exchange

Coproduction in Procurement


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Scottish Borders Council has demonstrated innovation in procurement through a project that put people with learning disabilities at the heart of the procurement exercise and brought co-production into the process. This new approach brings together the key elements of a compliant procurement procedure with the principles of co-production, while ensuring best value and achieving cost effectiveness and was developed as a solution to an unproductive procurement for a new Day Opportunities Service for people with complex needs.

Theme: Health and Social Care

scottish borders council

It was vital to include face to face dialogue with all stakeholders to consider, improve and add clarity to the service design.


It was also important to share the decision making with those individuals, whether end-users, carers, families or others – all of whom had a vested interest in the successful delivery of the new service.

This pioneering procurement approach is a socially responsible negotiated procedure that creates a procurement route supporting the challenging social care service transformation agenda.


Co-production requires the person to be placed at the heart of any service and to be involved in it through design to delivery. This fresh approach to procuring the service allowed the ethos behind a redesigned Day Opportunities Service to be matched by an equivalent forward thinking, collaborative and flexible procurement solution.

The procurement project this approach was based on was, while unique in detail, representative of the complexities surrounding the provision of care services in a rural area and can be applied to any similar procurement of care and support services.



Traditional contract models in Social Care have been based on inflexible but guaranteed ‘block’ contracts which, while attractive to providers, do not help shape the agenda for personalisation and flexibility.


For those in receipt of personal budgets, services need to match individual needs - so SBC was determined to ensure the pricing model created this opportunity.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Kathryn Dickson

Procurement & Payment Services Manager

Scottish Borders Council

01835 826646

Case study added to site: June 2016

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