latest health care news

14.05.18

GPs face ‘appalling’ four-month wait for loss of earnings compensation

GPs unable to practice due to problems with Capita’s management of the National Performers List have to wait an “excruciating” four months before claiming compensation, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Responding to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, NHS England told the BMA that settlements would be offered on a “goodwill basis” only in “exceptional cases.”

This was defined as when an application to the Performers List was delayed more than 16 weeks through no fault of the individual GP, meaning that a GP would be out of work for four months before being able to claim reimbursement for loss of earnings.

In order to practice in England, GPs must be on the Performers List.

Newly qualified GPs and those coming to work in England from the other devolved nations must apply to the National Performers List by supplying the Primary Care Support England (PCSE), commissioned by NHS England, with all the required information, which it should then process.

This process should routinely take no longer than 12 weeks.

Capita took responsibility for the delivery of PCSE services in 2015 and, since then, the BMA says that it has been “beset by problems” in various areas including the Performers List, the administration of GP payments and pensions and the transfer of patient records between practices.

Dr. Ian Hume, BMA GP committee premises and practice finance policy lead, said: “Imagine not being allowed to do your job – despite being professionally qualified and positions being available – because of an admin error.

“Now imagine being told to sit on your hands for four months, without work, before your case is deemed “exceptional” enough to even consider compensating you for lost earnings.”

He argued that the doctors affected by these delays have financial commitments, such as mortgages, and called a 16 week delay in earnings “appalling.”

Hume continued: “We are in the midst of a recruitment and retainment crisis in general practice, and here we have a case of GPs who are qualified and who want to work, but are unable to because of the incompetent management of an administrative system by a private sector company.”

After two years of “chaos”, he said that Capita has shown that it is not able to deliver this system, and called on NHS England to urgently provide solutions to the “litany of problems” faced by GPs and practice teams.

NHE has contacted NHS England for comment. Capita has declined to respond to the BMA’s concerns.

 

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