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Patients' Complaints

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place to handle Wandsworth patients' complaints after September; what plans he has for (a) the Wandsworth pilot Patients' Forum and (b) the Wandsworth pilot Independent Complaints Advocacy Service; and which of these will deal with complaints [105813]

It is our intention that Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) will be available throughout the country from 1 September 2003.In the new system of patient and public involvement, local delivery of ICAS is the responsibility of primary care trust (PCT) patients' forums. As an interim measure, while patients forums are being established and are building their capacity and networks, we shall be working with the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) to put in place national coverage of ICAS through a contract with specialist complaints support providers.

I recently announced an extension to the ICAS pilots, including the Wandsworth pilot, to 31 July 2003.

The CPPIH has a specific remit to set national standards for ICAS and to monitor compliance. The ICAS pilots currently work to draft national standards and are developing local operational protocols, which will inform future provision.