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GPC advises practices to file claims over missed payments

The GPC has advised practices that they can charge interest on late payments from NHS England, following a series of problems with payments reported by Pulse since April 2013.

GPs are being advised that they can sue area teams via the small claims court for cases of non-payment under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

The advice comes as GP practices were still struggling to be paid in full for all services over the past few months, including problems with QOF payments, the BACS system and failing DESs over ‘minutiae’.

North Yorkshire and Bradford and Airedale LMCs newsletter said: ‘The GPC has sought legal advice on whether practices can charge interest on late payment from the area team and sue through the small claims court (assuming it has not elected to become an NHS body) for cases of non-payment.’

‘The advice confirmed that this course of action is open to practices and The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 should apply too (as the GMS Contract does not appear to have contracted out of this). This allows for interest at the rate of 8% above base rate, plus a fixed sum and reasonable costs of recovering the debt.’

Other LMCs have advised GPs to issue breach notices to NHS England over late payments.

Last month, NHS England head of primary care commissioning Dr David Geddes admitted to Pulse that the GP payment process is still ‘not completely smooth’ but claimed the ‘endemic problems’ reported on by Pulse throughout 2013/14 were sorted.

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