Decision details

PCC DN - 2023-24 Support Services costs to St Mary’s SARC for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault in Greater Manchester

Decision Maker: Director for Police, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, GM Deputy Mayor, Treasurer GMCA

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Deputy Mayor for Police, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire has a responsibility to provide services for victims of crime, including victims of rape and sexual assault.

In Greater Manchester, these support services are provided at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, based at the St Mary’s Centre, NHS Manchester University Foundation Trust. The provision is an all-age service which provides support for victims of rape or sexual assault in terms of a forensic examination and crisis support, support for people going through the criminal justice process and therapeutic/counselling support. The service can be accessed by a referral from an agency, including but not exclusive to Greater Manchester Police, or victims can also choose to self-refer. The service currently supports anybody who lives in Greater Manchester in addition to providing support for individuals who were assaulted in Greater Manchester, but do not reside in the area.

There were nearly 12,000 sexual offences reported to GMP in 2023, of which 37% were rape. 58% of these offences were committed against adults whilst over 5000 sexual offences were committed against children. This included 1400 offences which were rape against a child. In 2023, SARC carried out 854 forensic medical examinations and 214 counselling cases were closed.

Progress towards agreeing a full Service specification for SARC and Implementing a 3-year contract

Over the course of 2022/23 the GM PCC have been working with SARC to both document the service provision with the associated costings, and also outline the service needs to improve operational delivery to meet demand. This is with a view to move to an agreed formal contracted position which will run until March 31st 2026. The first step in this process has been the GMCA, NHS Integrated Care and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust agreeing a price for the service.

We have been documenting SARCs services based on the segregation of the service into the below 4 pillars:

1. Forensic medical examinations for adults
2. Forensic medical examinations for children / young persons
3. ISVA provision
4. Therapeutic counselling support

We have moved to a position where we have agreed the service specification and fixed price for pillars 1,2 and 3 and are in the process of finalising a formal contract with the Trust for this provision which will run until March 31st 2026.

Pillar 4 The Therapeutic counselling support has inherent complications as demand has stripped capacity at SARC. We will seek procurement advice on meeting commercial compliance regulations with any agreed way forward for this work.


To allocate £3,003,594 to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust for the provision of support services by the St Marys Centre to victims of rape and serious sexual offences to cover the period of 1st April 2023 - March 31st, 2024.This encompasses the full and complete costs for the service including quarterly contract payments, baseline of ISVA provision, therapeutic support, and also costs of the Forensic Medical Examinations. The fixed annual price has been pre agreed by the GMCA, NHS Integrated Care and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

The SARC service is jointly funded by Greater Manchester NHS Integrated Care on a 50/50 basis and as such, the amount indicated above is the total SARC budget. The GMCA/PCC contribution is half of this. (£1,501,797.40).

Publication date: 09/05/2024

Date of decision: 05/04/2024