HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 cc319-20W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether community health councils will take new complaints from individuals through the NHS complaints procedure; what arrangements he has in place to assist individuals with such complaints until the new arrangements are in place; and if he will make a statement. [108070]

Mr. Lammy

There is no statutory requirement for Community Health Councils (CHCs) to provide complaints advocacy although most do provide such a service and many will continue to offer advice to patients until abolition on 1 September.

Additional specific support is also available in those areas where independent complaints advocacy service pilots exist, 106 ICAS pilots across the country.

In areas where it is not possible to refer new cases to ICAS pilots, CHCs and patient advice and liaison services based in most national health service trusts will provide advice or refer individuals to local advocacy services.

From l September a national ICAS service will be in place.