Mapped: Quarter of area teams resort to NHS England arbitration

19 March 2015

Providers and clinical commissioning groups in over a quarter of the country’s local area teams have required arbitration from NHS England to resolve contractual issues and other disagreements, HSJ can reveal.

According to data released to HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act, since April 2013 – when CCGs were established – trusts and commissioners have needed mediation in seven of the 25 local area teams that formed NHS England’s old structure.

The area teams were Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire; Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly; Durham, Darlington and Tees; London; Surrey and Sussex; Thames Valley; and Wessex.

The reasons of arbitration have varied across the country. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, Wyre Forest CCG, Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG and South Worcestershire CCG required mediation in 2013 and 2014 in relation to a number of issues.

These included the “reasonableness of CCG activity plans”, “appropriateness of price support above tariff related to maternity [and] paediatric services” and issues relating to the 30 per cent marginal rate emergency tariff.

This tariff also featured in disputes between Plymouth Hospitals Trust and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, and between Portsmouth Hospitals Trust and Portsmouth CCG.

The most contentious areas were Surrey and Sussex, and London, where arbitration between providers and CCGs was required on five and four occasions respectively.

NHS England said some CCGs may have entered into a mediation process with local trusts without the involvement of the NHS England area team, so it is possible there has been more disputes between commissioners and providers than have been recorded.

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