The Director of Adults and Health approved the request in line with CPR 3.1.6 for authority to procure a counselling and therapy service for women in Leeds, subject to Schedule 7, Paragraph 27 of the Equality Act 2010.
The Director of Adults and Health approved the award of a contract for five years with the option to extend for up to a further five years to the successful provider(s) following the procurement exercise, at a maximum cost of £1,290,060 for this period (£129,060 per annum).
This significant operation decision is an addendum to the original key decision taken in July 2021 and is to clarify that the request for authority to procure a service for women only is subject to Schedule 7, Paragraph 27 of the Equality Act 2010.
A brief statement of the reasons for the decision -
A request for authority to procure a counselling and therapy service for women is being put forward in this report. The Council already commissions this provision, and has done since 1983. In recent years, the existing provider WCTS has been commissioned to deliver the service via a number of short term interim contracts. A delegated decision was taken in 2019 to test the market in order to ensure the Council is achieving value for money. The commencement of the MSE was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but was eventually undertaken in early 2021. Five MSE responses were received which indicates that there is a potential market locally for this type of provision. PACS colleagues have therefore advised that a full market test through open procurement is now required.
A request to procure a women only service is being put forward subject to Schedule 7, Paragraph 27 of the Equality Act 2010 as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (as detailed below):
27 Single-sex services
(1) A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to sex discrimination, by providing a service only to persons of one sex if—
(a) any of the conditions in sub-paragraphs (2) to (7) is satisfied, and
(b) the limited provision is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
(3) The condition is that—(b) the service would be insufficiently effective were it only to be provided jointly.
(5) The condition is that the service is provided at a place which is, or is part of—(b) another establishment for persons requiring special care, supervision or attention.
(6) The condition is that—(a) the service is provided for, or is likely to be used by, two or more persons at the same time, and (b) the circumstances are such that a person of one sex might reasonably object to the of a person of the opposite sex.