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Independent Complaints Advocacy Service

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Independent Patient Advocacy Services will be in place by the time community health councils are abolished; and if he will make a statement. [114166]

The Department has put the contracts to provide the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service out to tender. Only organisations that can provide the service from 1 September 2003 will be considered for the contracts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 19 March 2003, Official Report, column 850W, on patient advocacy, which organisations will be invited to tender for interim contracts to become specialist complaints support providers. [114167]

Tendering exercises of this kind follow Department of Health procurement guidelines, which protect the commercial confidentiality of tenderers while the invitation-to-tender process is underway.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis individuals will be assessed to be suitable candidates to be specialist patient support providers under the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. [114168]

Those tendering to provide the interim Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) will have to demonstrate that they can provide the service to the ICAS Standards set by the Department of Health. When primary care trust patients' forums commission or provide the service, they will abide by standards set by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.