DELEGATED POWERS REPORT NO. All reports 1. Governance Service receive draft report Name of GSO Paul Frost

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1 DELEGATED POWERS REPORT NO SUBJECT: Participation in London-wide procurement of NHS Complaints Advocacy Services Control sheet All of the following actions MUST be completed at each stage of the process and the signed and dated report MUST be passed to the Governance Service for publishing All reports 1. Governance Service receive draft report Name of GSO Paul Frost 2. Governance Service cleared draft report as being constitutionally appropriate 3. Finance clearance obtained (report author to complete) Name of GSO Paul Frost Name of Fin. officer Anisa Darr Date 21/3/13 4. Staff and other resources issues clearance obtained (report author to complete) Name of Res. officer Date N/A 5. Strategic Procurement clearance obtained (report author to complete) 6. Legal clearance obtained from (report author to complete) 7. Policy & Partnerships clearance obtained (report author to complete) 8. Equalities & Diversity clearance obtained (report author to complete) Name of SPO Kevin Bates Date 27/3/13 Name of Legal officer Steven Strange Date 14/3/13 Name of P&P officer Andrew Nathan Name of officer Andrew Nathan 9. The above process has been checked and verified by Director, Head of Service or Deputy Name Dawn Wakeling/Mathew Kendall 10. Signed & dated report, scanned or hard copy received by Governance Service for publishing 11. Report published by Governance Service to website Name of GSO Paul Frost Date 11/4/13 Name of GSO Paul Frost Date 12/4/ Head of Service informed report is published Name of GSO Paul Frost Date 12/4/13 Key decisions only: 13. Expiry of call-in period Date N/A 14. Report circulated for call-in purposes to Business Management OSC members & copied to Cabinet Members & Head of Service Name of GSO Date N/A

2 ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET MEMBER (EXECUTIVE FUNCTION) Subject Cabinet Member Participation in London-wide procurement of NHS Complaints Advocacy Services Cabinet Member for Public Health Date of Decision 5 April 2013 Date decision comes into effect Summary Officer Contributors Status (public or exempt) Wards affected Enclosures Reason for exemption from callin (if appropriate) Key decision 5 April 2013 Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, responsibility for commissioning advocacy services for complaints relating to the National Health Service has transferred from the Department of Health to local authorities. This report authorises Barnet s participation in the acceptance of a tender for a pan-london arrangement led by the London Borough of Hounslow to procure these services and the entry into a contract with the successful bidder, Voiceability Advocacy. Andrew Nathan- Strategic Policy Adviser Public All None N/A No Contact for further information: Andrew Nathan, Strategic Policy Adviser Serial No. 2007

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4 1. RELEVANT PREVIOUS DECISIONS 1.1 Cabinet Resources Committee- 20 June decision item 12, Contract Procurement Plan: resolved that approval be given for officers to proceed with the contract procurement activity for the 2012/13 financial year, subject to budget availability. 2. CORPORATE PRIORITIES AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS 2.1 This joint procurement furthers the Council s priority of Better Services with Less Money by exploiting economies of scale through joint procurement of a service that crosses Borough boundaries and therefore pooling specialist expertise that the Council does not have. 3. RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES 3.1 This Contract has previously been delivered at a London-wide level and a joint procurement will minimise the risk that a series of smaller contracts would deliver a fragmented service, that it would not reflect the fact that use of NHS services crosses Borough boundaries and lose the benefits of economies of scale. 4. EQUALITIES AND DIVERSITY ISSUES 4.1 Under current Equalities legislation the Council and all other organisations exercising public functions on its behalf are required when doing so to have due regard to the need to i) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010; ii) advance equality of opportunity between those with a protected characteristic and those without; iii) promote good relations between those with a protected characteristic and those without. The relevant protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. It also covers marriage and civil partnership with regard to eliminating discrimination. 4.2 The requirements in relation to Equalities are detailed in the Framework Agreement which requires that the Contractor will observe and comply in all respects with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and all subordinate regulations and statutory instrument as a contractor providing services to a Public Body including the public sector equality duty under s149 of the Act, following all relevant guidance including best practice guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in connection with the Act.

5 4.3 Contractors were evaluated against a number of equalities related issues in method statements such as an explanation of how the Services will reflect the wide range of personal, social, economic issues as well as the multi-cultural and ethnic diversity of the Service Users it will be supporting from participating Councils. 5. USE OF RESOURCES IMPLICATIONS (Finance, Procurement, Performance & Value for Money, Staffing, IT, Property, Sustainability) 5.1 The Department of Health has identified a budget of 14.2 million nationally to be transferred and have disaggregated this into local authority allocations based on a needs formula. In 2013/14 Barnet s allocation is 85,069. These funds are part of the Department of Health Local Reform and Community Voices Grant, but are not ring fenced. 5.2 A one off cost of 2000 was payable on completion of the Participation Agreement, covering legal, procurement, administration and insurance costs and is being funded from the one-off funding made available in 2012/13 for Local Healthwatch start up costs. 5.3 Under the successful bid, core costs are 35,596 in year 1 and 26,405 in year 2. Tariffs reflecting service demand will also be payable. 6. LEGAL ISSUES 6.1 Responsibility for commissioning this service transfers to Local Authorities from 1 April 2013 under Section 185 of the Health and Social Care Act Procurement processes must comply with the European procurement rules and the Treaty obligations of transparency, equality of treatment and non discrimination as well as the Council s Contract Procedure Rules ( CPR s). 6.3 A framework is an agreement between a client and a contractor or contractors or consultant or consultants (depending upon the nature of the framework), the purpose of which is to establish the terms governing particular call-off contracts that may be awarded during the term of the framework, in particular with regard to price and quantity. The advantage of establishing framework agreements is that as long as the original framework agreement has been advertised and let in accordance with the EU procurement rules, there is no requirement to advertise any subsequent call-off contracts let under the framework agreement even where those call-off contracts exceed the stipulated financial threshold for works and services.

6 6.4 In accordance with the CPR s there will be a need for the Council to enter into a written contract with the London Borough of Hounslow to allow the Council to call-off the Complaints Advocacy Services to be provided under the terms of the Framework Agreement. 6.5 In accordance with the CPR s there will also be a need for the Council to enter into a written contract with Voiceability Advocacy for the provision of the Complaints Advocacy Services. 7. CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS 7.1 Council Constitution, Part 3, Responsibility for Functions, Section 3.2- details the responsibilities of cabinet members. Section 3.3 provides that Cabinet Members can discharge the Executive functions that fall within their portfolio, and to accept tenders or quotations in accordance with the CPR s. 7.2 Council Constitution, Part 4, Contract Procedure Rules, 5.1 Section 5 sets out Authorisation and Acceptance Procedures, and provide that a Cabinet Member may accept a contract valued between 173,934 and 499,999 where the tender represents value for money and is the best available option for the Council. 7.3 Council Constitution, Part 4 Contract Procedure Rules, Section 6.11 provides as follows: 6.11 Before promoting the procurement of a new or joining a preexisting framework agreement, the Director of Commercial Services must be satisfied that such an approach represents the most economically advantageous solution for a service, work, or supply provision and complies with the relevant EU Regulations on the use of such agreements. Before procuring or entering into a framework agreement, the Director of Commercial Services shall be satisfied that: the term of the arrangement shall be or is for a period of no longer than four years duration; the terms and conditions of the arrangement do not compromise the Council s contractual requirements; the parties to the arrangement are recognised public bodies or providers from the private sector; full, open and proper competition in respect of the creation of the framework agreement has taken or will take place in accordance with the relevant EU Regulations and/or relevant Contract Procedure Rules the framework is to be accessed in accordance with procedures defined by the framework contract owner;

7 Preference should be given to use of any Government Procurement schemes e.g. Government Procurement Service (GPS), formerly OGC/Buying Solutions. 7.4 The Director of Commercial Services has confirmed that the framework agreement represents a prudent, efficient and economical way of ensuring compliance with procurement rules; and the Director of Commercial Services has given approval to join the framework agreement. 8. BACKGROUND INFORMATION 8.1 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. The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) is currently commissioned on a national level through the Department of Health (DH) and PoHwer is the provider for the London contract. 8.2 The 2012 Health and Social Care Act 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 The rationale for transferring the responsibility is a localist one, that local authorities are better placed to determine what services are appropriate to be arranged for their local area. 8.3 Originally this was an aspect of the new Healthwatches that are being procured by local authorities to support patient and public engagement and information and signposting, and the entry in the Contract Forward plan approved by Cabinet Resources Committee on 20 June 2012 reflected that. However the Department of Health have advised that the legislation separates it from local Healthwatch and that it should be commissioned separately from Healthwatch. There will still be links in that one of the roles of Healthwatch will be to act as a gateway to signpost possible users to the existence of this service, while monitoring and information arising from the function of complaints advocacy will feed into the activity of Healthwatch. 8.4 The current ICAS specification details the following in terms of what is expected as a service: ICAS staff use advocacy skills to provide practical support and direction to clients, in order to assist them in finding a resolution to their complaint. ICAS s relationship with the client focuses on contact at each of the following points or activities in the NHS complaints procedure, those being: Identifying what the available options and possible outcomes are, and deciding which option to take

8 Making the complaint to the appropriate Trust(s) Deciding how to proceed with the complaint, following the Trust s initial response Supporting clients during the local resolution phase by attending meetings or entering into correspondence Making a complaint to the Healthcare Commission Supporting the Independent Review stage by attending meetings or entering into correspondence Making a complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman Understanding the Health Service Ombudsman s final decision Clients can be supported through advocacy and there is also an extensive self-help service provided online through the current provider s website. 8.5 The present provider s most recent annual data shows that 550 enquiries were received from Barnet residents, and 667 downloaded information. This translated into 89 actual advocacy cases. Of these, 49% related to services provided outside borough boundaries. 103 cases were considered in relation to services provided in Barnet. Of these, 56% originated from people resident outside Barnet. 8.6 London Boroughs explored the scope for a joint procurement of a pan- London service, which would have a number of potential benefits, including economies of scale, maintaining high professional standards for a specialist service and more efficient management of complaints which cross Borough boundaries. The London Borough of Hounslow led this procurement and 27 Boroughs, including Barnet and all other Boroughs within NHS North Central London, agreed to participate. The contract will take the form of a Framework Agreement between the London Borough of Hounslow and Voiceability Advocacy, a provider who has been procured through a competitive process. The weighting criteria used by the London Borough of Hounslow to evaluate bids was 60% price and 40% quality. 8.7 As a result of this process, Voiceability Advocacy have been awarded the contract, for two years between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2015 with the option of two further extensions for a period of one year. Their bid scored highest of the four tenders overall, although by a small margin it was not the lowest price. The contract works on the basis of a fixed payment which will be made to cover a contribution to core service, with two tariffs for individual cases, depending on whether they are handled remotely or intensively face to face. 8.8 Barnet s contribution is capped at a maximum of 85,069 per annum, reflecting the allocation made to the Borough. Under the successful

9 bid, core costs are 35,596 in year 1 and 26,405 in year 2. The rest of the payment, ie the tariffs, will reflect service demand. The contract will put in place trigger points at 50% and 75% of allocation, where a meeting will be called to discuss the performance and ensure value for money is being achieved. 8.9 An access agreement contract will be signed between Hounslow as the lead authority and Barnet as participating authority, allowing the Council to access the framework agreement. The Council will also enter into a written contract with Voiceability Advocacy for the provision of the Complaints Advocacy Services. 9. LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS 9.1 Healthwatch Factsheet 10 Independent Complaints Advocacy Service, Department of Health and Local Government Association, June Commissioning Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Services Briefing Pack- Department of Health, June Participation Agreement- November DECISION OF THE CABINET MEMBER(S) I authorise the following action 10.1 The entry into an access agreement contract with the London Borough of Hounslow to allow the Council to call-off from the Framework Agreement for NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services to be provided by Voiceability Advocacy The entry into a contract with Voiceability Advocacy under the Framework Contract referred to in 10.1 above, to the maximum annual sum of 85,069, for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015 with the option to extend for a further two years (total 340,276). Signed Cabinet Member for Public Health Date 05 April 2013

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