Public Sector Network Tender Alert


388935-2012: UK-Carlisle: health services

The IMHA Service will be commissioned for those qualifying patients within the county of Cumbria and where necessary those patients out of county where Cumbria is the responsible commissioner. The IMHA service will be fully compliant with the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice (2008).
The Mental Health Act calls patients who are eligible for the support of an IMHA ‘qualifying patients’. Qualifying patients are those patients who are:
— detained under the MHA (even if they are currently on leave of absence from hospital) apart from those patients detained under sections 4, 5(2), 5(4), 135 or 136,
— conditionally discharged restricted patients,
— subject to Guardianship under the Act; or,
— on Supervised Community Treatment (SCT),
— being considered for a treatment to which section 57 applies (‘a section 57 treatment),
— under 18 and being considered for electro-convulsive therapy or any other treatment to which section 58a applies (‘a section 58a treatment’).
The objectives of the Service are to:
— fulfil the statutory obligations placed upon the Commissioner by the provisions introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007,
— ensure that qualifying patients will have access to help from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) in order to support them to understand and exercise their legal rights,
— ensure that any help made available to a patient is independent of any person who is professionally concerned with the patient’s medical treatment,
— provide an holistic approach to advocacy based on the assessment of the rights and needs of individuals,
— demonstrate how any views that are expressed as representing people’s best interests have been determined.
IMHAs will normally use instructed advocacy; however may also use non-instructed advocacy with patients who lack the mental capacity to instruct or have difficulties communicating.
The Provider for this contract needs to have at least 2 years experience of the provision of mental health advocacy to people receiving care and treatment in a psychiatric setting. Under regulations, IMHAs must have an appropriate combination of experience and training:
— Previous experience working in advocacy, particularly mental health advocacy,
— Previous experience working with people with mental health needs,
— Successful completion of an advocacy qualification, in particular the IMHA module of the National Advocacy Qualification.
The service will be flexible service based on an auto-referral system, to accept the number of appropriate referrals received; able to provide Advocates promptly and at short notice, and to respond within the 5 working day response timescale.
The contract will be awarded to a single Supplier to deliver the IMHA service across all localities providing a countywide Cumbria service.



Cumbria County Council
Corporate Procurement, Parkhouse Building, Kingmoor Park
Contact point(s): Mr Mike Farren
For the attention of: Mr Mike Farren
CA6 4SJ Carlisle
Telephone: +44 1228221745
Internet address(es):
General address of the contracting authority:
Further information can be obtained from: Cumbria County Council
Internet address:
Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: Cumbria County Council
Internet address:
Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: Cumbria County Council
Internet address:

Contract value: Estimated value excluding VAT: Range: between 313 000 and 360 000 GBP

Published: 7 Dec 2012, Receipt by: 31 Jan 2013