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Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) is a Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) initiative which funds general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) to attend designated government secondary schools across the state to provide medical advice and health care to students.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is contracted by DET to provide support to Victorian Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to commission medical centres to deliver DiSS in their catchments.
The initiative has succeeded in making primary care more accessible to students. It enjoys wide acceptance among participating school communities and local general practices. However, sometimes a suitable match with a local medical centre is not available. In collaboration with DET, therefore, NWMPHN is piloting a contingency model to enable existing DiSS general practice providers to deliver interim support to an additional school, inside or outside its region, while recruitment for a permanent provider continues.
Part A: The activity
NWMPHN invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from current DiSS general practices to deliver contingency services to fill DiSS vacancies in schools across Victoria.
The EOI aims to identify existing DiSS providers interested in delivering interim support to schools currently without a GP while recruitment for a permanent provider continues. The service model delivery may be required at a school not within the practice’s usual catchment, this may include onsite service delivery (where feasible) or via telehealth, or in combination.
This is a new approach. The intent is to pilot it at up to 8 schools across Victoria to determine its efficacy. One school will be onboarded at a time to ensure that any improvements needed can be made, and to minimise disruption to the provider’s existing DiSS service delivery.
The pilot is expected to run from the start of Term 1, February 2023 to the end of Term 4, December 2023, with the option for an extension by agreement if the pilot is extended.
For the practices delivering this model, a retainer will be paid for the schools designated under the Contingency Model only. This is a different payment model to the standard DiSS service, recognising that this is a pilot and demands a greater degree of flexibility. The retainer will compensate for the time of the GP and PN, regardless of the number of consultations delivered.
Examples of vacant schools (and PHN region) are provided below to support potentially interested providers understand the geographic spread of DiSS and vacant schools:
The current DiSS operational guidelines will be applicable to the Contingency Model service delivery.
Specific differences or requirements for this model include:
The selected Contingency Model provider will be required to:
Payment arrangements for the Contingency Model will include a retainer and activity-based payment. Further details are provided in Appendix 1.
In responding to this EOI, applicants must:
Refer to Part D- Application Form for the full list of Eligibility Criteria related to this EOI.
Part B: How to apply
Applicants must complete and return the Application Form (Part D) and email it with supporting documentation to the NWMPHN Procurement team email@example.com. Applications close at 3pm (AEDT) Wednesday, 7 December 2022.
Please direct all queries during the EOI open period to firstname.lastname@example.org. All clarification questions and answers will be published on the NWMPHN website [insert link] regularly.
Applicants must provide clear evidence of capability and capacity to deliver the services for which they are applying. This includes:
NWMPHN is not obliged to accept any proposal received after the submission deadline. Where an applicant provides evidence of exceptional circumstances affecting on time submission, NWMPHN may, at its sole discretion, decide to accept an application received after the submission deadline, but is not obliged to do so.
All applications received by the submission deadline (or otherwise accepted by NWMPHN using its discretion) will be evaluated by reference to the assessment criteria in Part D and EOI specifications.
NWMPHN may also consider other factors relevant to the applicant’s suitability, including conflicts of interest, financial viability and current insurance.
Where referees are requested as part of this process, NWMPHN may contact them and use their comments in its assessment.
Where NWMPHN considers that an application contains an ambiguity, unintentional error or minor omission, it may, as its sole discretion, contact the applicant and invite clarification or correction. It will not do so where this would unfairly disadvantage other applicants.
NWMPHN may conduct interviews with some or all applicants to assist in making a final decision. Interviews are an opportunity to ask questions to better understand a submission, not an opportunity to make changes or submit new material. It is anticipated that interviews for this EOI will be held between Monday 19 December 2022 and Wednesday 21 December 2022.
Applicants must clearly specify and explain any and all proposed departures from the Appendix 3 DiSS Contingency service agreement (Draft Contract) in their EOI response using Appendix 4 – Proposed Departures Form provided. Applicants may be disqualified if departures are not submitted with the EOI application form but are sought at later stages of the process. NWMPHN is not obligated to accept an applicant’s proposed contract departures at any stage of the EOI.
All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the EOI. Unsuccessful applicants may apply for verbal or written feedback via email@example.com.
This table summarises the key stages and indicative dates related to the EOI – DISS Contingency Model.
|EOI Key Stages||*Estimated Date|
|Release to the market (email)||23 November 2022|
|Application closing date (email)||3pm, 7 December 2022|
|Evaluation||8 December 2022 – 15 December 2022|
|Interviews with shortlisted providers||19 – 21 December 2022|
|Notification of successful and unsuccessful applications||February 2023|
*These dates are indicative only and subject to change without notice at NWMPHN’s discretion to meet the necessary process requirements
NWMPHN receives funding from the Australian Government, the Victorian Government, and other government and non-government sources. Each funding source may have particular requirements regarding consultancies and sub-contractors. Successful applicants must comply with these.
A successful applicant will be expected to:
Applicants must disclose any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest. A conflict of interest arises where a person makes a decision or exercises power in any way that may or may be perceived to be influence by either professional, commercial or personal interests or associations. NWMPHN maintains a Register of Conflicts of Interest and Related Entities, and reports its contents back to our funding bodies as required.
NWMPHN may seek formal government approval and will disclose contract details including legal and trading name of successful applicant, the nature and duration of the work to be undertaken, and the procurement process. Approval is granted at the discretion of the government department. Relevant departments may require additional information at any time which NWMPHN is obliged to provide. Relevant departments may list this information on their websites from time to time.
Please note that the Australian or Victorian Government reserves the right to terminate NWMPHN funding at its convenience. This requirement is passed through to the successful applicant. Expenses incurred and committed up to and including the termination date will be paid.
No legal relationship is created by the issue of this EOI, or the submission of any application in response to it.
NWMPHN is under no obligation to award a contract to any applicant as a result of this process.
NWMPHN has taken reasonable steps to ensure that all information presented in this EOI is accurate at the time of issue. However, NWMPHN accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions and recommends that applicants make their own enquiries about any matter relevant to the preparation of an application.
You can find a list of frequently asked questions about this EOI here (.pdf).
We will notify you when the list of questions is updated.
The program is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) and implemented by Victoria’s six Primary Health Networks (PHNs). North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is the lead PHN.