Commissioning Contracts and Fee Disputes
Tightening public sector budgets in the UK has led to attempts by many departments to try and save money at the expense of health and social care providers, as well as the disproportionate division of contracts between suppliers. The Care Quality Commission and other related regulators are increasingly carrying out their own contract monitoring which duplicates other regulators’ functions.
This is often carried out in a way which is disproportionate and can lead to cancellations of contracts and the removal of residents. Safeguarding investigations can lead to contracts being cancelled too. Local authority action can influence steps that are taken by CQC and vice-versa so it’s important that providers fight on all fronts to protect their businesses against multi-stakeholder action.
Ridouts has been successful at challenging commissioners’ attempts to reduce fees without the agreement of health and social care providers as well as obtaining fee increases through analysis of the commissioning contracts.
Whether you need to challenge the findings of contract monitoring reports, cancellations or the removal of service users, The Ridouts team of specialist health and social care lawyers can provide correspondence and litigation services, as well as helping residents to find their own legal representation where necessary.
With the Ridouts team, you can rest assured that we will challenge any attempted reduction of your fees or contracts without your agreement, securing your place and sector authority.
Consumer Law for Care Homes - Validity & Enforceability of Commercial Contracts
In recent times, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has had a well-publicised impact on the Health & Social Care Sector.
This has cast doubt on some contract terms regarded by many as standard terms in their Independent paying residents’ contracts such as up-front payments and after death liabilities.
Providers will wish to review existing agreements and ensure that they do not fall foul of consumer law. These contracts are not single purchase or short term service agreements like more typical consumer goods and service agreements. They are usually medium to long term arrangements and are therefore very significant contracts. The validity and enforceability of these is an important facet of the business security of a care service.
Ensuring that your customers understand proposed terms and commit with informed knowledge is, more than ever, vital to security of revenue and business value. Failure to do so could render your agreements unenforceable; could give rise to regulatory fines or even claims for damages, none of which are desirable from a provider’s perspective. Ridouts can offer advice and assistance to help Providers avoid these pitfalls. This can be ad-hoc assistance on individual agreements or a more long term contract management arrangement.
Whether you need to update your existing contracts in line with consumer law obligations or introduce a new agreement, the Ridouts team of specialist health and social care lawyers can offer a can offer a variety of bespoke consumer law services to suit you.
We advised a group of care homes on their independent paying resident contracts. We reviewed them with particular emphasis on making those contracts compliant with criticisms made under Consumer Rights Legislation by the Competitions and Markets Authority.
As a result of our holistic review of all of the contract terms, our Client was able to update their contracts to ensure compliance with Consumer Law whilst maintaining the commerciality of the agreements.