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Mediation and Facilitation - a cost effective way of managing disputes for your Practice

GP Practices, like any commercial organisation encounter disputes. These may be in the form of disputes with commissioners, suppliers of goods and services, third party stakeholders such as the CQC or internally with practice staff or partners.

Disputes can escalate into formal legal action being taken and/or the issuing of proceedings. Such action has an impact on relationships, is time consuming, expensive and stressful for all parties involved.

Mediation and facilitation represent alternatives to resolving disputes without recourse to legal action or proceedings. Capsticks has specialised in the provision of legal and consultancy advice to the healthcare sector for more than 30 years and provides specialist advice to GP practices. In recognition of that we are proud to be shortlisted for “Legal Team of the Year” at the GP Awards in 2015.

We offer a specialist, independent mediation and facilitation service, supported by our consultancy service which brings parties together, replacing adversarial confrontation with principled negotiation to achieve expeditious and cost- effective negotiation and settlement.

How does it work?

Your mediator/facilitator will work with you in an informal environment, exploring a dispute impartially, taking into account respective objectives and suggesting ways in which gaps can be bridged. Settlement is not dictated and the mediation/facilitation is an entirely private and confidential process where the parties are in control.

If a resolution is reached - and 90% of the time it is - the mediator will work to produce a binding legal agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding on which one may be based. If not, the mediator will identify points of difference and agreement as a basis for any further negotiation or action.

Whatever the nature of the dispute, we’ll supply you with detailed guidance on how the process will work on the day, what to expect, how best to prepare and an experienced mediator/facilitator.

Our experience

Partnership disputes

Partnership disputes are often complicated disputes involving property, employment, regulatory and commercial issues. Our broad experience in advising on such issues within the healthcare sector makes us uniquely placed to understand the context of such disputes and driving agendas. It is this understanding, together with our experience in handling these often highly emotive cases that has ensured successful resolution in a high number of cases.

Contractual disputes

We have extensive experience in advising on GMS, PMS and APMS agreements together with the NHS Standard Contract and other forms of commercial contracts. This makes us uniquely placed to facilitate discussions between commissioners and providers to reach successful resolution without recourse to formal contractual action such as the issuing of breach or remedial notices or formal legal proceedings such as injunctive proceedings, claims for damages or proceedings before the FHSAU.

Commercial/Supplier Disputes

Our experience of drafting agreements for the supply of goods and services to GP practices and our understanding of the legal framework governing such arrangements again makes us uniquely placed to facilitate discussions between GP Practices and suppliers in order to achieve successful resolution of disputes, without recourse to formal legal proceedings, a step which is often a contractual requirement under the terms of the contract.

Property Disputes

Practices frequently encounter property issues whether that be with: landlords, NHS England for rental reimbursement or provision of grants. Our understanding of these issues and provision of advice on them makes us best placed to facilitate parties to achieve successful resolution.

For more information or advise on any of the above please contact Sarah Berry, James Reynolds or Duncan Gordon-Smith.               


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