What we can do

Who we are

We are a division of NHS Resolution which has been directed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to independently discharge their appellate and other functions. We operate pursuant to statutory directions and regulations made under various NHS Acts.

What we do

Using our longstanding experience, we interpret and apply complex primary care regulations alongside consideration of public law issues to the fair resolution of appeals and disputes. As our work covers all of England, we see a wide range of disputes and are therefore in a position to provide data and insights as a catalyst for improvement. Without our effective dispute resolution service, parties would have no other recourse but to the courts which is expensive and time consuming.

Specifically, we:

  • operate openly and transparently;
  • comply with regulations and procedures to ensure the fair resolution of cases, doing so promptly and effectively;
  • ensure that local decisions made by the commissioner are lawful, fair, reasonable and proportionate;
  • provide online guidance on how to lodge an appeal and/or application for dispute resolution;
  • publish previous decisions and specific guidance to support learning;
  • provide learning to help develop capability and robust decision making at local level to support fair and just outcomes for those involved in disputes; and
  • provide data and insights on activity levels and case precedents.

We are not:

  • a regulatory body;
  • able to enforce our own decisions;
  • able to award damages;
  • able to issue costs against parties;
  • able to reconsider any decision made by ourselves;.
  • an advisory body – we are not able to provide advice to either NHS England/ICBs or contractors;
  • a body that deals with patient complaints or enquiries from the general public – please consider contacting NHS England.

Helpful resources

  • Our decisions –  in contracting disputes (dating back three years and searchable)
  • Guidance notes – providing guidance on specific areas of disputes, based on past decisions
  • Judicial reviews – judicial review judgments where we are the defendant (dating back three years)
  • Factsheet 6 – statistical annual overview of the Primary Care Appeals workstreams

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