1 Healthwatch Factsheet Independent Complaints Advocacy Service What is the funding available to local authorities for the provision of NHS complaints advocacy? Clause 185 of the Health & Social Care Bill transfers a duty to commission independent advocacy services from the Secretary of State to individual local authorities; this transfer will take place on 1 April 2013 The Government s Localism Agenda supports the shifting of the commissioning of NHS complaints independent advocacy services from central government to local authorities. Local authorities are better placed to determine what services are appropriate to be arranged for their local area and giving them responsibility for arranging them. Local authorities already commission advocacy services for social care complaints and mental health. Independent advocacy services are services assisting persons making or intending to make complaints in relation to the provision of NHS services or the exercise of functions of certain NHS bodies.
2 1. What is the funding for local provision of independent advocacy? Actual funding for the provision of independent advocacy is still to be confirmed; however, the provisional summary of funding to transfer to local authorities for NHS Complaints Advocacy is estimated at 14.2 million. Annex A gives indicative allocations. These should be treated They use data from the 2012/13 grant calculation, which will be updated prior to the 2013/14 allocations and are calculated using a provisional funding total. Final decisions about the best route for this funding will be taken shortly. 2. Is this ring-fenced? No. Decisions about funding for independent advocacy will be made by each local authority as part of its overall responsibilities to fund services to meet the needs of local people and communities. 3. What information is available to local authority commissioners who need to know the funding that will be made available for local commissioning of independent advocacy from April 2013? The Department of Health (DH) in conjunction with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the current advocacy providers are producing a briefing pack. It will cover a range of topics including the current service specification, the NHS complaints system, performance management indicators and contract management. 4. Where does the 14.2 million figure come from? DH centrally commissions advocacy services known as Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) at a cost of 11.7 million per annum and this will be transferred to local authorities. In addition, because of the future commissioning model 2.5 million will be added to the existing funding compensate for the loss of economies of scale that are currently delivered by the existing central procurement method. 5. If these are not final figures, when will local authorities know the actual levels of funding made available? Each year, routine notifications of local government funding for the following financial year is notified at two stages. The provisional allocations are made known in November/ December of the current financial year; and final allocations are made known in January/ February prior to the start of the new financial year in April. 6. What happens if a council either refuses to fund local NHS complaints advocacy adequately or at a level significantly, below what should be available? Each local authority has to commission local NHS complaints advocacy, as there are statutory functions that have to be delivered. Clause 185 of the Health & Social Care Act transfers a duty to commission independent advocacy services from the Secretary of State to individual local authorities. The local authority also has a duty to ensure that local complaints advocacy operates effectively and delivers value for money. Whilst it will be for local authorities to decide the level of funding, it would be paramount that sufficient funding be made available to ensure that the quality of service provided to its local people and community is not compromised. Lack of funding could jeopardise the ability of a local NHS complaints advocacy to demonstrate to the local authority that it is providing effective services. 2 Healthwatch Factsheet Independent Complaints Advocacy Service
3 Annex A Illustrative allocations for 2013/14 additional local Healthwatch funding Local authority Barking and Dagenham 52, Barnet 85, Barnsley 74, Bath & North East Somerset 43, Bedford 37, Bexley 52, Birmingham 334, Blackburn with Darwen 44, Blackpool 52, Bolton 81, Bournemouth 50, Bracknell Forest 21, Bradford 137, Brent 73, Brighton & Hove 71, Bristol 121, Bromley 69, Buckinghamshire 99, Bury 48, Calderdale 55, Cambridgeshire 137, Camden 75, Central Bedfordshire 49, Cheshire East 85, Cheshire West and Chester 86, City of London 3, Cornwall 170, Healthwatch Factsheet Independent Complaints Advocacy Service
8 Wirral 107, Wokingham 23, Wolverhampton 81, Worcestershire 142, York 43, Total 14,200, Further information Local Government Association Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ Telephone Facsimile Local Government Association June 2012 L For a copy in Braille, larger print or audio, please contact us on We consider requests on an individual basis.
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