Update on Veterinary Delivery Partnership subcontractor arrangements

Posted on April 14, 2015 by John Blackwell

I have today emailed members with an update giving further information on the VDP arrangements as best I can. There seems to have been a significant hiatus between awarding of the contracts to the Delivery Partners (DPs) and tangible information. Those members who practise in Wales and wish to subcontract are now likely to have signed contracts. Potential subcontractors in England will be receiving their contracts imminently.

We are aware that there was very little time for those in Wales to seek opinion on any areas of concern within the contract prior to being asked to sign and submit. As in any situation where clarity is sought we would encourage members to first raise points for clarification with the DP. After all, we are in a process of building new working relationships, so I would suggest open discussion is a prerequisite.

Legal advice

If members are still unclear, particularly on aspects of legal interpretation, then it may be prudent to seek legal opinion. BVA members with a contract to hand can seek advice on certain clauses and on managing the potential timeframe for turnaround via the BVA Legal Helpline.

Views of members

BVA is keen for our members to provide information on how the new system of delivery is working on the ground, particularly as we migrate through the transition period to full implementation of the new contracts.

You will be aware that BVA strongly opposed the move to a system of tendering for OV services as we had significant concerns about the potential impact. This isn’t about being resistant to change, it’s about the impact on sustainability of practice and whether vets will be able to retain a critical mass within practice to deliver a reliable service.

Some members have already indicated that they will not continue to provide government-funded TB surveillance under the new contract, with the potential to create gaps in the broader surveillance network, and perhaps add to the already fragile contingency reserve of vets in a state of preparedness for the next emerging or returning disease threat.

Tell us what you think

So we need your help to keep us informed about what is happening at a local level so that we can feed in questions and concerns on behalf of members to APHA and Defra. We want to hear what is working well and what is giving you cause for concern, as well as any questions you may have, via the TB testing thread in the BVA community. 

Remember that you can post anonymously in the BVA community, but it would be helpful if you could give an indication of which Delivery Partner area(s) you are working in to help us feed in queries and get answers to your questions. We will post any responses or information we receive from APHA and Defra in the community to keep members updated.


John Blackwell

Written by John Blackwell

BVA President from September 2014 to September 2015

John is a farm animal and equine practitioner, and a director at Brownlow Veterinary Centre in Shropshire. Follow John on Twitter