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Stopping in-year clawback

We are aware that several practices in Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) had monies removed from their contract payments last month, without prior consultation, based on an assessment of their performance in Q1 regarding fluoride varnish applications.

We have sent a letter of complaint to the Head of Primary Care, copied to the CEO of SBUHB, and the Office of the CDO, making plain our disappointment in this behaviour.

This goes against the spirit of everything the previous CDO Dr Bridgman was trying to engender in contract reform and GDS contractual conditions. It is a breach of contract and we have made clear that we expect immediate reimbursement to affected practices. We have asked the Head of Primary Care to ensure that contract managers work constructively with affected practices to clarify the reasons for the apparent under performance, whether these were for clinical reasons, data capture reasons, staffing reasons or any other mitigating factors.

A supportive approach is needed in future to ensure the successful outcome of trialling these new contract measures. If there are valid reasons for clawback of monies against a practice’s contract value, then this should not be done until a full consultation process has been exhausted. Monies should not be removed until the end of the financial year when practice performance over the 12 months can be fully assessed against all the new measures and done in a joined-up fashion.

We will keep a close eye on other Health Boards and update you on progress made. If your practice is under any such threat of in-year clawback, please tell us at [email protected].