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2324-0076 Mental health employment support service

Read more and express your interest to provide specialist support for adult residents in Islington who experience mental health problems to obtain and maintain paid employment.

Islington Council invites suitable expressions of interest from suppliers for the 2324-0076 Mental Health Employment Support Service contract, to provide specialist support for adult residents in Islington who experience mental health problems to obtain and maintain paid employment.


North Central London (NCL) Integrated Care System (ICS) has the highest prevalence of serious mental illness (SMI) compared to ICSs across London and England. Diagnosed SMI prevalence is particularly high in Camden and Islington. SMI prevalence has been increasing in recent years, and if the current trajectory continues, we expect to have just over 4,000 individuals with diagnosed SMI in Islington by 2030, an increase of over 100 individuals.

The NHS Long-Term Plan recognises that employment is a major factor in maintaining good mental health and is an important outcome of recovery for people who experience mental health problems. It stipulates the expansion of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) with the ambition to support an additional 35,000 people nationally with SMI by 2023/24, with a total of 55,000 people per year having access to IPS services. NHS England has provided significant additional investment to support implementation of the Long-Term Plan in meeting stretched IPS access targets by 2023/24 and beyond, across the five NCL boroughs.

Islington Council’s vision is that by 2030 there is a sustainable, inclusive, and locally rooted economy in the borough. Our commitment to promoting economic wellbeing for residents includes:

  • empowering residents, particularly those who face the most disadvantage, to secure and retain good quality jobs that are well paid
  • providing targeted employment support through the Islington Working Partnership
  • actively promoting opportunities, such as volunteering, as a means of building skills and confidence for work.

An in-depth review of Islington mental health employment support provision was completed in March 2023. The review highlighted a number of opportunities to further develop and improve the employment support offer for residents who experience mental health problems, through redesign, collaboration and integration. Following this review, the council is now looking to commission a new contract for a mental health employment support service.


Islington Council and North Central London Integrated Care Board are looking to procure a Mental Health Employment Support Service that will provide specialist support to residents who experience mental health problems in Islington to obtain and maintain paid employment.

The service will deliver tailored mental health support that is effective and provides a positive experience within an inclusive community-based setting. The service will work collaboratively with other mental health, community, and universal services to realise the vision.

The specialist Mental Health Employment Support Service will work closely in partnership with, and complement, the council’s in-house adult employment service iWork, and forms part of the wider Islington Working Partnership, a network of partners who support residents into employment.

The new contract will require a successful bidder to have access to premises, based in the borough, that provides an inclusive, welcoming community atmosphere. Further details on service requirements are outlined in the service specification.


We will procure the service without lots to ensure that we achieve the maximum interest in tendering for the service. Commissioners are confident that the service is best delivered by a single supplier rather than more than one.

Transfer of Undertakings [Protection of Employment] Regulations (TUPE)

Potential providers must be aware that TUPE may or may not apply to this service. Further details will be available in the invitation to tender.

Contract period

The contract period will be for 36 months from an estimated start date 1 April 2024 with option to extend up to a further 36 months.

Contract value

The estimated total value of this contract is £2,916,894 over the 72 months term of the contract. This is based on £486,149 per annum. However we are confident the bids received will be lower than the estimated value.

There is a maximum fixed budget for this service of £2,916,894. Any bids over this amount will be disqualified.

Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations. MEAT for this contract is quality 80% and cost 20%. Further details will be provided in the invitation to tender.

Cost: 20%

Quality (80%) is made up of:

  • Service delivery model: 30%
  • Social value: 20%
  • Service user engagement and coproduction: 15%
  • Partnerships: 15%

Total: 100%

We reserve the right to hold site visits during the tender process. Site visits and presentations will be for verification/clarification purposes of the written submission.

Procurement process

This contract is over the threshold at which we are required to publish public procurement notices for new procurements to the UK e-notification service, Find a Tender (FTS).

This procurement will be conducted in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, under Chapter 3 Section 7 Social and Other Specific Services (known as the “light touch” regime). Under Regulation 76 the council is free to establish a procedure, provided the procedure is sufficient to ensure compliance with the principles of transparency and equal treatment of economic operators (service providers).

The procedure we have designed is based on the open procedure. All economic operators (service providers) who successfully express an interest will automatically have access to the tender documents. Standard pre-selection questions will be part of the tender response and will need to be passed before evaluation of price and quality aspects. Further details will be available in the procurement documents.

How to express an interest

If you wish to apply for this contract please follow the steps below:

  1. Register your company free of charge via the London Tenders Portal.
  2. Await acceptance. You will receive an email confirming your username and password.
  3. Use your username and password to log into the London Tenders Portal and express your interest in 2324-0076 Specialist Mental Health Employment service (category 85000000: Health and social work services).

Shortly after you have expressed interest, you will receive a second email containing a link to access the tender documents.


  • Deadline for expressions of interest is: 8 December 2023 11.59am
  • Submission of tender documents must be by: 8 December 2023, 12pm noon

Late submissions will not be accepted.

More information

  • Islington Council and its partners are committed to work towards a ‘Fairer Islington’, for more information see
  • Please do not include any publicity material with your submissions.
  • We aim to provide equality of opportunity and welcomes applicants who meet the qualitative selection criteria from black and minority ethnic communities and disabled groups.
  • We encourage all types of organisation who meet the qualitative selection criteria including Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, Social Enterprises or not for profit enterprises and small to medium enterprises (SME) to tender.
  • Your submission will be marked in stages.  Only applicants who meet the requirements at each stage will progress to the next stage.  Further details will be contained in the tender documents. 
  • Please include the contract number of this tender process when communicating with us in any way.
  • All questions relating to this contract should be raised in the question and answer section of the relevant contract on the London Tenders Portal.  Please do not contact any officer of the council directly.
  • Applicants are advised that all costs incurred either directly or indirectly in preparation, submission or otherwise related to this advertisement will be borne by them, and in no circumstances will the council be responsible for any such costs. Applicants are also advised that the council at its sole discretion acting reasonably and in good faith reserves the right to abandon the procurement at any stage prior to contract award.
  • As part of a commitment to transparency the council is now publishing all spend over £500 each month. This includes spend on contracts, so the successful contractor should expect details of spend against the contract to appear on the council website. The council is also committed to publishing tender and contract documentation after contract award stage. Commercially sensitive information will be redacted from documentation. What constitutes commercially sensitive information is a matter for the council’s sole discretion. However, tenderers will be invited to identify information they consider to be commercially sensitive in their tender return and this will be taken into account in the council forming a view.
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