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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

MPS: PEN and equalities

MPS: Provider engagement arrangements

What does the Provider Engagement Network (PEN) offer?

The PEN offers several different levels of engagement with providers: 

  • PEN website 
  • PENPal –  a bi-monthly newsletter 
  • Provider Engagement Network meetings – The PEN Reference Group meets on a monthly basis in Exeter.  This is a forum where Devon County Council & Health colleagues come together with provider representatives(elected by providers to ensure sectoral and geographic coverage), to work collaboratively and discuss key areas of business. The meetings allow the sharing of the strategic direction of Commissioners, the discussion of hot topics, general challenges and constraints.  This forum will have a key role to play in developing the MPS with us. 
  • Locality meetings – These meetings discuss issues affecting the market and emerging policy at a local levelThe meetings include discussions that involve all providers as well as an opportunity to work in specific sectors to discuss differing issues affecting that sector. Providers raise questions, air their views and opinions, network and share best practice with provider colleagues and commissioners 
  • Conferences A PEN conference is held at least once a year, based on a theme which has come from the priorities and specific issues and/or concerns raised by the provider representatives, through wider provider engagement or from commissioners. For examplethe March 2018 conference was titled “Stepping up to the challenge” and it looked at improved productivity and the last event in SPrin 2019 had a focus on equality and diversity.  All providers on our database are invited to these events.   
  • Bespoke engagement events around specific topics such as proposed new contractual arrangements, emerging policy, promoting independence 

For more information about how PEN works and opportunities to get involved, contact 

What do the teams do?

The Business Relations Team is responsible for many of the Provider Engagement arrangements and plays a key role in market shaping which is a requirement under the 2015 Care Act. The team acts as a conduit of information and support between external providers and service commissioners to encourage collaboration and the development of a shared understanding of sufficiency and local social care markets. 

The Quality Assurance and Improvement team (QAIT) is focused on monitoring the quality of provision against nationally prescribed standards and County Council requirements. This team works with providers to help improve the quality of services. 

The South West Councils Portal enables you to view all opportunities offered by the South West Councils.  The Portal is linked to a system called ProContract that is a secure hosted electronic tendering system. ProContract provides a user-friendly, intuitive system to advertise all open tender and quotation opportunities. It also includes a tender submission wizard to guide suppliers through the submission process. The Portal/ProContract is free to join. 


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Last updated: 29/01/2020

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