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The National Health Service (Personal Dental Services Agreements) Regulations 2005

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Pre-agreement disputes

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8.  (1)  Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), if in the course of negotiations intending to lead to an agreement the prospective parties to that agreement are unable to agree on a particular term of the agreement, either party may, subject to paragraph (2), refer the dispute to the Secretary of State to consider and determine the matter.

(2) Both parties to the prospective agreement must make every reasonable effort to communicate and co-operate with each other with a view to resolving a dispute arising during the course of negotiations, before referring the dispute for determination under paragraph (1).

(3) Disputes referred to the Secretary of State in accordance with paragraph (1), or section 4(4) of the 1990 Act, shall be considered and determined in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 55(4) to 55(13) and 56(1) of Schedule 3, and paragraph (4) (where it applies) of this regulation.

(4) In the case of a dispute referred to the Secretary of State under paragraph (1), the determination—

(a)may specify terms to be included in the proposed agreement;

(b)may require the Relevant Body to proceed with the proposed agreement, but may not require the proposed contractor to proceed with the proposed agreement; and

(c)shall be binding upon the prospective parties to the agreement.

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