The first step in getting disputes resolved under general condition 14 (GC14) of the NHS Standard Contract is escalated negotiation for 15 working days, involving senior directors of both parties who are able to make decisions for their organisations.
Bailey & Moore can facilitate this process by facilitating these negotiations and offering a range of technical and practical advice. This can be helpful to defuse issues where negotiations have reached stalemate.
We can advise on the technical detail of aspects of the contract or other national guidance, including undertaking a specific piece of research and providing a written opinion if required.
We can also advise on precedents that have been set where we have come across a particular issue before. While precedents are not binding in the NHS, they do give an indication of where a potential mediation or arbitration may land.
In short, our aim is to provide a safe space where the parties can redirect their negotiations in a very practical way, yet one that is rooted firmly in the terms of the contract. The objective is to preserve good working relationships by bringing disputes to a close wherever possible, including a written statement of the outcome. Where closure is not possible, we always recommend proceeding to formal mediation at the earliest possible opportunity, in line with GC14.