Decision details

The Provision of Independent Health Complaints Advocacy in Torbay

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


That the contract for Independent Health NHS Complaints Advocacy be awarded to the preferred supplier named in Exempt Appendix 1 to the submitted report.

Reasons for the decision:

Each local authority must commission local NHS complaints advocacy, as there are statutory functions that have to be delivered.  This falls under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and is funded out of the Local Reform and Community Voices Grant.

Alternative options considered:

Historically the Council has commissioned and contracted the service as a single Council.  However, given the relatively small size of the current contract and that Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust already have an arrangement with Devon County Council for the commissioning and contract management of other statutory advocacy services, it was proposed to include the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy within this wider service. This was in line with some other contracts within health and care, such as the Local Healthwatch service, where the Council jointly commission this with other partners within the Integrated Care System for Devon.


This decision will come into force and may be implemented on 8 May 2024 unless the call-in procedure is triggered (as set out in the Standing Orders in relation to Overview and Scrutiny).


Independent Health Complaints Advocacy is a free, independent, and impartial service funded by local authorities (see above). It can guide anyone who wishes to complain about their (or another person’s) NHS care and treatment through the process of contacting the appropriate NHS organisation. The NHS complaints advocacy service can support anyone who needs to navigate the complaints process. There are no specific eligibility criteria. Wherever possible, they will facilitate self-advocacy in line with the empowering model of advocacy.


Following an open procurement process led by Devon County Council (DCC), for the provision of this service in both Devon and Torbay the new contract for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy needs to be awarded in order to start on the 1 July 2024.


At the meeting Councillor Tranter proposed and Councillor Chris Lewis seconded a motion that was agreed unanimously by the Cabinet, as set out above.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Publication date: 29/04/2024

Date of decision: 25/04/2024

Effective from: 08/05/2024