Nottingham City Council has approved an additional £182,478 from the public health grant to support non-statutory domestic violence and sexual abuse services.
The decision was made by Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health, and falls under the council’s operational decisions due to its value being less than £250,000 and within the existing policy.
The funding will be allocated as follows:
- £87,478 (£17,496 per annum for 5 years) will be spent on services outlined in Table 1 of the decision document.
- £70,000 (£14,000 per annum for 5 years) will be allocated to the provision of an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service within the Emergency Department at Queens Medical Centre.
- A non-recurrent £25,000 will contribute towards a comprehensive evaluation of a preventative healthy relationships programme delivered in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire schools.
Public Health Grant
The decision was made following a review of the use of the public health grant in Nottingham during the Summer of 2021. The review found that contributing to non-statutory domestic violence services was an eligible use of the public health grant. However, the grant cannot be used to fund the statutory duties of the local authority.
Demand for services has increased
The council noted that domestic violence services have experienced significant increases in demand since their commissioning in 2018.
The 24-hour free phone helpline is currently receiving on average 4,000 calls from Nottingham City residents per year, up from a baseline of 1,300 in 2012. The council believes that it is their responsibility to ensure that contracts are adequately funded to safely meet the required specifications.
The council rejected the option to end the domestic violence and sexual abuse contracts early and recommission based on current levels of need, citing the need for stability within the sector and the potential disruption to long-term strategic plans.