03 Apr 2024
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

NHS England has published the NHS Standard Contract for 2024/25, which is mandatory for use by commissioners of all contracts for healthcare services other than primary care. 

There is a summary of the changes, which follow a consultation earlier this year, in the Technical Guidance  and comparison documents.

Among the changes for 2024/25, the contract now includes:

CQC’s new quality statements

There is a specific requirement for all providers to have regard to the quality statements published by the Care Quality Commission as part of its Single Assessment Framework.

Requirement to conform with Ombudsman’s complaints handling standards

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has published NHS complaint standards which set out a model complaint handling procedure and guidance describing how organisations providing NHS services should approach complaint handling. The Contract requires each provider’s complaints procedure to comply with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s standards.

Update re Provider Selection Regime

There are changes relating to the introduction of the new NHS Provider Selection Regime (PSR), which came into effect on 1 January 2024.

Update re Oliver McGowan training

The Health and Care Act 2022 makes provision for mandatory training on learning disability and autism for all staff. The Department of Health and Social Care has consulted on a draft code of practice on this training and is expected to publish the final version shortly. The Contract now has a requirement for providers to ensure that all staff receive training on learning disability and autism appropriate to their role, in accordance with the code of practice when published in final form and having regard to DHSC’s, CQC’s and NHSE’s recommendation of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism as the “preferred and recommended” training package.

For the full changes, please see the Technical Guidance and comparison documents referred to above.

The NHS Standard Contract Particulars, Service Conditions and General Conditions which are applicable to contracts between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025 are available from: NHS England » NHS Standard Contract, where there are also previous versions of the Contract. To receive updates on the NHS Standard Contract, please email your contact details to [email protected].

Providers who are considering entering into NHS contracts may wish to take legal advice on the provisions of the new Contract and how to comply.

NHS England has also published its annual priorities and operational planning guidance for 2024/25 which reconfirms the ongoing need to recover core services and improve productivity, making progress in delivering the key NHS Long Term Plan ambitions. NHS England has set a deadline of 30 June 2024 for ICBs to publish their annual Joint Forward Plan. Read the guidance.


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