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commercial contracts

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The need for robust healthcare contracts has never been greater. The arrival of the first foundation trusts introduced the concept of legally enforceable contracts between NHS commissioners and providers, and we are now moving towards an all foundation trust provider landscape. The need to deliver QIPP also means that all NHS organisations are considering new and innovative relationships with each other and the independent sector.


The contracts underpinning this matrix of relationships need to be carefully negotiated and drafted. They also need to comply with statutory and policy requirements and be based on any mandatory templates (e.g. the NHS standard contract). You therefore need lawyers who have a combination of commercial and NHS expertise.

We have a team of lawyers who work exclusively in the health sector and, as our health team sits within a full service commercial firm, we are also able to provide more specialist advice too – for example, regarding competition IP or IT issues.

Our expertise includes advising on: 

  • use of the NHS standard contract (including subcontracting arrangements)
  • contracts for primary medical and dental care (including 111 arrangements)
  • conversion of SLAs and inter-trust agreements (ITAs) into more formal agreements
  • non-clinical commercial contracts, including projects, PFI and LIFT
  • joint ventures
  • IP exploitation and branding.

related resources

Legal updates

NHS England announces further consultation on the Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) contract

NHS England has recently announced that it will be undertaking further consultation in relation to the proposed Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) contract, which was being developed to support some of the new care models.

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Legal updates

January 2018 update to the 2017-19 NHS Standard Contract

Following consultation, an update to the 2017-19 NHS Standard Contract is available.

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Legal updates

Revised Integrated Support and Assurance Process (ISAP) guidance published

NHS England and NHS Improvement have recently published revised guidance on the Integrated Support and Assurance Process for procuring novel and complex contracts.

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Legal updates

Prison healthcare at fever pitch

The UK prison system reached fever pitch when, in August this year. An NHS England spokesperson conceded to the Guardian newspaper that conditions can be “challenging” despite the annual £500m funding it presides over, committed to associated health and justice services.

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