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The High Court has dismissed a challenge to proposed changes to how providers of NHS services are paid.

The claim concerned a draft contract published by the NHS Commissioning Board (known as NHS England) which sets out a new payment mechanism called a “Whole Population Annual Payment” (WPAP). 

The Claimant brought the claim on behalf of a campaign group called “999 Call for the NHS”. The group objects to the WPAP on the ground that it abandons the concept of payment by results and reverts to the concept of a block contracting arrangement, where providers are paid a fixed payment without reference to the number of patients they actually treat. 

The Claimant argued that a WPAP is not a lawful payment mechanism under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. NHS England and Monitor (the health sector regulator) jointly defended the claim, arguing that the Act does permit this form of payment mechanism.

Kerr J dismissed the Claimant’s various arguments.

The judgment is available here. 

Iain Steele acted for Monitor.

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