Case study: successful mediation
Four GP practices set up a Primary Care Network (PCN) in June 2019, in line with NHS England guidance.
The relationship broke down, and they approached BMA Law to set up a period of mediation in an attempt to resolve their dispute.
Three of the practices confirmed they wished to continue the PCN without the fourth party.
However, the fourth party did not wish to leave the PCN, as they believed they still had a significant role to play, and had several concerns:
- Worried about future financing if forced out of the PCN.
- Made counter allegations of bullying
- Concerned about contributions to service delivery
- Concerned about anticipatory support for clinical roles
- Allegations of procedural irregularities; and
- Concerned about costs consideration in the event the matter were to proceed to arbitration.
Any change to the formation of a PCN must be agreed by the relevant CCG. A primary objective of a PCN is that they serve a patient population of between 30,000 and 50,000.
It was therefore understood that the CCG would be unlikely to agree to the removal of one of the practices if the PCN does not meet the patient population size threshold.
Mediation was held for a full day, in which discussions were had with different groups of the four parties. Final settlement was not reached, but progressive discussions were had and decisions were made.
The parties were in agreeance that the three parties would serve notice to form a new PCN without the fourth party. The fourth party accepted that this was an agreed position.