NHS England is in dispute with University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust over £75m of the trust’s specialised services contract for this financial year.
The lack of agreement with this large London teaching hospital makes up the lion’s share of the £91m that is still in dispute across specialised services nationals, according to a report by the national director for commissioning operations, Dame Barbara Hakin, to the NHS England board meeting this week.
This states while most “contract issues are resolved” there was a “total of £91m in dispute, of which £75m relates entirely to one particular foundation trust in central London”.
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NHS England has asked its area teams to “initiate arbitration proceedings” for the £91m.
The report notes that the specialised commissioning round for 2014-15 has been “very challenging, predominately due to overspend in 2013-14”.
While most area teams are planning to deliver a balanced plan for specialised commissioning, the London area team has a deficit plan of £65m.
The report states: “Initial plans for 2014-15 indicated a potential deficit in excess of £800m.” However, a £400m “draw-down”, an “expanded QIPP programme” and a new procedure for “invoice validation” has been developed, which included training for commissioning support units and area teams.
A spokeswoman for NHS England said it was not in a “formal dispute” with UCLH. “We are working together to identify areas where the gap between our respective negotiating positions can be reduced and agreements can be finalised.
“As contract negotiations are ongoing, it is not appropriate at this stage to give information on specific areas of difference, but both parties remain committed to concluding discussions for the 2014-15 contract.”
FT chief executive Sir Robert Naylor told HSJ: “We have been in what I can describe as constructive dialogue, and are working hard to resolve outstanding issues.” He said the delay was in part due to the “scale and complexity of our specialised
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NHS England and UCLH in contracting dispute