HC Deb 19 December 2003 vol 416 c179W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what requirements were included in the contract awarded to SEAP for the provision of an independent complaints advisory service for Berkshire: [144827]

(2) what arrangements he has put in place to provide support and advice to patients with a complaint against the NHS in Berkshire pending establishment of an independent complaints advisory service; [144828]

(3) when he expects an independent complaints advisory service to be established for Berkshire. [144829]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Contracts for the delivery of independent commission advocacy services (ICAS) were awarded through a competitive tendering exercise, which demanded providers to put in place good quality, accessible complaints support for people wishing to complain against the national health service. South East Advocacy Project (SEAP) was judged to meet the criteria and was approved to provide services in the Berkshire area. The Department and the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) are monitoring the delivery of services against standards and performance indicators.

ICAS was established on 1 September 2003 and has been available nationally, including for Berkshire, since 15 October 2003.

More information can be found at the CPPIH's website at: http://www.cppih.org/index.html