The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has kick-started the search for a mediation provider, following what it said had been a successful pilot.
The chosen provider will be appointed to a two-year, £160,000 contract.
The mediation service will be comprised of two lots as follows:
- A mediation service for the resolution of disputes arising from personal injury and clinical negligence incidents and/or claims; and
- A mediation service for the resolution of disputes arising from claims for legal costs.
The NHSLA said: “The key objective of this procurement is to provide the Authority with the ability to procure mediation services which will offer best value to its customers, patients and the public by putting the needs and expectations of customers, patients and the public at the core of its work by providing an efficient and best-value service.”
The contract will start on 5 December 2016 and run until 5 December 2018. The NHSLA will also have the option to extend for a further 12 months.
Helen Vernon, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “Mediation is an excellent forum for dispute resolution in the NHS, providing injured patients and their families with an opportunity for face-to-face explanations and apologies when things go wrong and reducing the need for unnecessary litigation. We fully embrace mediation and believe that there is an appetite in the legal community to do more in this area.”
Vernon claimed that the NHSLA had “used mediation to good effect throughout our 20 year history, including in high profile cases and group actions. We are delighted to be building our capacity to offer mediation services following this procurement exercise and look forward to launching the new service in December.”