GPs can charge local authorities for safeguarding reports, says GPC
The GPC has received legal advice stating that GPs can charge local authorities for the cost of the workload involved with providing safeguarding reports.
It took legal advice after NHS England has refused to make payment of a fee mandatory, and some areas have stopped paying fees because GPs have a legal duty to provide these reports on request.
A bulletin to Cleveland LMC members said that the GPC is continuing to discuss the issue with NHS England, and took legal advice to inform discussions.
It added: 'The GPC’s position, having taken such advice, is that GPs do have an obligation to comply with their statutory safeguarding duties, but equally that they are entitled to a fee.
'GPC’s advice is, therefore, to provide the relevant services, but on the basis that a fee will be sought for the same, indicating the rate of charge ahead of the provision of the report or attendance at the case conference as the case may be.'
It added that GPs should inform the commissioners that they had provided these services, and they should expect a payment. It added: 'In the event of non-payment a claim for the fee could then be pursued.'
GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse: 'We are clear that this is something that practices can charge a fee for, in line with collaborative arrangements, and local authorities should be paying for that as the work done.
'If practices are not securing a fee, they could be in a position to challenge that.'
Dr Vautrey said that there was no national proposal for the amount to be charged but that this was 'for the practice to determine'.