Urgent update: Orthodontic contracts in Wales
21 March 2019
It has come to our attention that one or more Health Boards in Wales have been writing to orthodontists who hold GDS contracts stating that they are terminating the UOA element of their contract.
GDS contracts are ongoing agreements without an end date. It is not possible for a Health Board to terminate the orthodontic element of a contract for policy reasons without the agreement of the relevant contractor.
Under clause 287 of the standard GDS contract it states that "no amendment or variation shall have effect unless it is in writing and signed by or on behalf of the Board and the Contractor."
The only way the Health Board could justify a unilateral variation of a GDS contract is if there had been a legislative change to allow them to do this. There has been no such change
If your Health Board does seek to impose a unilateral change to your contract you would have the right to refer the matter to NHS Resolution or the Courts for breach of contract. However, if you sign a variation notice demonstrating your agreement to any proposed amendments, it is unlikely that you will have any grounds for challenging them at a later date.
Please make sure you fully understand the contents of any variation notice and the wider implications of any changes proposed. Please do not sign anything without checking with us first. If you have signed an agreement, please let us know.
We are writing to the Local Health Board urging them to not proceed with any of the proposed contract variations. If you are affected by this please contact us for advice as a matter of urgency
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