COVID-19: Information notice to our providers
In response to COVID-19 the Clinical Commissioning Group will be following guidance on payment of our providers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak.
Our actions are based on ensuring that providers at risk are in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the outbreak is over.
Payment to ensure business continuity
The action we will be taking
Enacting NHS specific guidance in respect of moving to ‘block payments’ for our main NHS acute, mental health and community service providers for at least until the end of July 2020.
Reviewing our contract portfolio to determine those providers the CCG determines to be at risk, upon confirmation of which, inform those at risk providers that they will continue to be paid (even if service delivery is disrupted or temporarily suspended) until at least the end of June 2020.
This will be done in conjunction with individual request received
For contracts where there is no contractual volume commitment to supply the guidance states that no payments to suppliers should be made. This is the basis for many of our Any Qualified Provider contracts we are intending to review these on a case by case basis.
Consider and put in place the most appropriate prompt payment measures to support cash flow which might include a range of approaches i.e. payment in advance, prepayments, interim payments.
Ensure invoices submitted by providers are paid promptly on receipt by the CCG with reconciliation taking place in slower time. Providers are reminded to follow instructions when submitting invoices to ensure that they are processed by SBS allowing them to be presented to the CCG for payment.
What we require of providers
To qualify for continued payment, providers should agree to act on an open book basis and make cost data available to us during this period. They should continue to pay employees and flow down funding to their subcontractors.
Notify the CCG as soon as they consider that continuity of provision will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The CCG will work with all providers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible and that business continuity plans are robust and are enacted.
If a provider seeks to invoke a clause relating to a form of contractual relief that would allow them to suspend performance, such as force majeure, the CCG will work with the provider to amend or vary contracts instead.
Changes to the original terms will be limited to the specific circumstances of the situation and considered on a case by case basis. Each claim for relief will be considered on a case by case basis according to the nature of the services being provided, the challenges being faced, the contract terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements such as the Public Contract regulations.
Where a claim is subject to dispute the CCG will seek specific legal advice as required. Any temporary changes agreed will be recorded.
The contract should return to its original terms as soon as the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the relevant contract is over.
Providers should note that the CCG is not bound to accept a provider’s claim for force majeure and can resist it. The CCG may take legal advice in respect of such claims but will in any case continue to work with the provider to maintain service continuity as far as possible.
The CCG intends to take a pragmatic approach in assisting providers and will seek to maximise any flexibilities within the contract including agreeing any new measures, suspending key performance indicators (KPIs), revising performance trajectories, waiving contractual sanctions etc.
Record of changes
Providers should identify in their invoices which element of the invoiced amount relates to services they are continuing to provide (i.e. business as usual) and which amounts are agreed to be attributable to the impact of COVID-19.
Temporary changes to contract will be recorded through the use of the contract change control procedure to keep records of any changes made and the decision making behind each one.
Get in touch
Any contact relating to the contents of this notice should be sent to:
COVID-19 Information for providers: notice from Martin Pursey, Head of Contracting & Procurement, Calderdale, Greater Huddersfield & North Kirklees CCGs