We have now received notification from the Legal Services Commission of the outcome of our contract tendering bids in each of our specialist areas.We are pleased to announce that, in the round, the firm has fared very well indeed.
We were granted all 250 New Matter Starts that we applied for in the Family category.
This is a considerable achievement, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of many firms failing to get any NMS in Family as reported in the legal and national media.
Our Clinical Negligence Tender was also successful – we have been granted a contract to carry out work with no limit on NMS (Clinical Negligence cases are not subject to an NMS cap).
In Employment there were only 100 NMS available in the East Kent Procurement Area. We bid for all of these and were granted 50 of them with the LSC commenting:-
“Our evaluation of the Selection Criteria resulted in your tender from the above office receiving a score of 26 and being ranked number 1.”
The only real disappointment came in the Mental Health category where we were granted 81 of the 160 NMS that we tendered for.
There has been a lot of practitioner concern expressed surrounding the Mental Health category where it seems that the LSC have granted large numbers of NMS to speculative bidders who have no existing presence, still less a track record, of providing this crucial service within the various regions including our own. We are hopeful that the LSC will return to us with additional NMS as the deadline for contracts commencing this October approaches.
Nick Fairweather commented:-
“Overall we have to be extremely pleased with these results.
The LSC approach to the Mental Health bid, however, is galling. We have spent a lot of time and effort in establishing a truly first class Department, which received a Peer Review grade 1 for ‘Excellence’ 2 years ago and has consistently met its quota of NMS in servicing patients in local Hospitals. The LSC need to understand that we simply cannot plan for and provide high quality services if inconsistent approaches are taken. We, like other firms in this area, cannot keep open Departments if the work is not available and will not be in a position to reconstitute them if those who are promising to deliver these services prove unable to do so.”