NHS Contract Lawyers
The specialist solicitors at Goodman Grant are experts when it comes to all matters concerning NHS contracts and regulations. We can offer clear, straightforward legal advice on specific contract terms as well as the regulatory frameworks and legislation that govern their implementation. We have unrivalled expertise in the dental sector. Offering a friendly, client-focused service we aim to deliver legal support that is efficient, professional and free of legal jargon. Our solicitors are based in and regularly service clients throughout the UK. Whatever the nature of your enquiry, contact us today to find out how we can help.
What types of NHS contracts are available for dentists?
There are two types of NHS contract currently available for dental practitioners – the General Dental Services (GDS) contract and the Personal Dental Services (PDS) agreement.
Generally speaking, GDS contracts offer dentists a higher level of flexibility by allowing them to take on a partner. This can be useful if you are planning to retire or are looking to gain access to your NHS pension through 24-hour retirement. However, GDS contracts sometimes offer lower Units of Dental Activity (UDA) values.
Opting for a PDS agreement can mean that you can attract a higher UDA value. The obvious downside is that those operating under a PDS agreement will not be able to take on a partner. It should be borne in mind that there is scope for applying to the NHS to convert from a PDS agreement to a GDS contract. Our solicitors can advise on the necessary steps that must be completed to switch from a PDS agreement to a GDS contract either now or in the future.
There are also implications for those who envisage selling their dental practice in the future when it comes to the type of contract you are practising under. A critical difference between GDS contract and PDS agreements is that only the GDS contract is saleable. Once again, our expert dental solicitors can advise on all necessary measures that must be taken if you considering selling your practice whilst operating under a PDS agreement.
Experts on regulatory and compliance matters
Those who are operating under a contract to provide NHS services will be bound by the terms of their agreement and must be vigilant to ensure that these terms are not breached. These contracts are complex legal documents – they will run to approximately 150 pages and include hundreds of clauses. The specific nature of your practice will mean that some of these provisions may not apply to you. Goodman Grant's team of specialist lawyers can provide comprehensive support so that you are completely clear as to how the terms of your contract will affect you, your staff and your practice. We are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, and our directors are available to advise you as required.
In addition to ensuring your compliance with the terms of your NHS contract, we can provide guidance on meeting the requirements set out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and General Dental Council (GDC), along with a host of regulations and relevant pieces of legislation.
Transferring an NHS contract
While a GDS contract cannot be bought or sold, there are provisions in place under the National Health Service (General Dental Services Contract) Regulations 2005 that allow for these contracts to be transferred between partners in a partnership, from an individual to a partnership or vice versa. In fact, the Regulations state that every GDS contract must contain a clause that permits the contract to be transferred in this way.
If you are looking to transfer a GDS contract, our lawyers will work closely with you to ensure that everything goes smoothly. We can advise on what steps must be taken to satisfy CQC registration requirements so that your transaction is completed seamlessly.
Transferring a PDS agreement can be challenging, but our solicitors can support you throughout. Before a PDS agreement can be transferred, consent must be sought from NHS England. This process is complicated by EU procurement laws which will generally prevent consent being granted unless the agreement has been put out to tender first. However, our lawyers have a proven track record in developing proactive and innovative solutions to address these issues. Whatever your circumstances, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure your transfer is completed as quickly and straightforwardly as possible.