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Regulation and Disputes

Regulation and disputes

Whether you are providing GP, dental or other health services, you are operating in one of the most highly regulated business environments. There are multiple layers of regulation with which you must comply and which it may be necessary to take advice.

NHS contractual disputes

For GPs, the commonly used PMS and APMS Agreements and the national standard GMS Contract are unwieldy, extensive and at times potentially very confusing documents. For dental practices, the commonly used PDS, PDS+ and GDS Agreements are similarly extensive and difficult to read. We’ve advised practices on a range of issues arising from growth money disputes, opening hours, fraud investigations, contractual termination and on value for money exercises.

Since the launch of these contracts, we have encountered many different queries and issues, from questions on procurement law and challenges to the award and renewal of contracts, to the requirements regarding the practice website. We can advise practices and providers from sole practitioners to federations on their rights and responsibilities in relation to these.

Healthcare regulations and CQC

Lester Aldridge is very experienced in dealing with all aspects of CQC matters on behalf of the full range of registered providers. From queries on the requirement to register and what are regulated activities, to disputes arising after CQC inspections, we have the relevant expertise to guide practices on what can be a difficult and confusing area at times of high stress. We have assisted CQC registered providers with questions concerning legal requirements of registration (who, how and when registration is required), to both advising on responding to Notices of Proposal to cancel registration issued by CQC and associated appeals to the First Tier Tribunal.

Professional regulators

Difficulties with patients, the NHS or CQC can quickly escalate to involve other parties. Practitioners can find themselves facing CQC regulatory actions, NHS contract sanctions together with simultaneous GMC/GDC/NMC (as appropriate) investigations, to referrals to fitness to practice panels.

An understanding of the entire regulatory environment is required when advising practitioners facing uncertain times whether with their contracts or various regulators. On occasion, regulatory action cannot be avoided and the right strategies to minimise potential losses and the risks of draconian action needs to be adopted. With increased regulation and potentially severe criminal sanctions underpinning many of the recent regulations, understanding the risks, and your rights, is vital for practices in difficulty.

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