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At the heart of general practice since 1960

20.45 Wrestling with IT

Dr Clare Dyer shouldn’t even be at work, but she’s practice lead for QOF - and wants to make sure the practice actually gets paid

I don’t normally work today. I am a mum of three and a member of the locality executive board for the CCG, so Tuesdays are either spent on household chores or CCG work.

However today is 1 April so I find myself slipping into work after the school run and a meeting about a possible new secondary school.

I am practice lead for QOF and all things IT, so as the year-end beckons, submissions are required. We are a small practice and have had no proper practice manager for the last six months. Far more of the day-to-day admin is down to the partners, so it is my job to update CQRS etc.

I am in work because I don’t trust the system and its methods of payment, so I am making hard copies from our IT system of all the QOF points we have achieved.

That part is simple, I then log in to CQRS to try see if we are one of the practices that has had a trial data extract, but no. However I get a message that at last we have been offered the dementia and online access DESs. All I need to do is accept them and then I can manually enter the data - but something isn’t quite right. There is no box to tick to accept.

I go through the guide sent when we were notified that they were on offer, but the page they said would be there is not. I can’t even find the ‘Contact us’ button I have used previously to ask a direct question rather than sift through the endless help pages. So it will have to wait until tomorrow when I am actually working to do this.

So today I have gone into work to do a job that I would not have needed to do at all if the national IT system was running properly.

On my way out I chat with one of the partners about our practice meeting tomorrow. We need to place an advert for a replacement partner and plan a change in working days to fit round this.

We were also planning on discussing the new DES etc so we can map out the year ahead and spread the workload, but despite the fact that the new contract is supposed to start today, we have no details. Who knows when it will arrive, and when we will be paid? Maybe it is NHS England’s way of saving money - if you don’t issue the specifications until June, you can’t do the work so you can’t be paid for April and May… Watch this space.

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