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GP practice wins legal bid for £27k NHS England immunisation reimbursement

GPs in Derbyshire have won a dispute against NHS England that could have ramifications for practices across the country.

Littlewick Medical Centre in Derbyshire won £27,000 from NHS England after they refused to reimburse the practice for doing childhood immunisations.

NHS England withheld the reimbursement payments because the practice submitted their claims on the manual NHS system rather than through the new online system.

But the Family Health Services Appeal Unit, which is the primary care arm of NHS Litigation Authority, ruled in favour of the practice, saying that NHS England’s communication of the system change had been insufficient.

NHS England has since paid the practice the £27,000 in reimbursement payments that they were owed.

Dr Gail Walton, senior partner at Littlewick Medical Centre, said: ‘This was a very significant matter for our practice and our patients across Derbyshire.

‘Childhood immunisations are fundamentally important and our ongoing delivery of such a service should in no way be compromised by the withholding of reimbursement for immunisations already correctly given.'

The practice was represented by a solicitor funded through the GP Defence Fund (GPDF), which supports legal challenges thought to be of national importance.

David Gibbs, chief operating officer of Derby and Derbyshire LMC, said the issue ‘may well affect other practices around the country’.

He added: ‘The support of the GPDF in recognising the value of the case in the first instance and then bringing its financial backing to bear to fund the legal process, were critical in achieving a successful outcome.’

GPDF chairman Dr Douglas Moederle-Lumb said: ‘The Littlewick case is a clear example of how the GPDF can support individual GP practices with specific cases that are positive locally and build legal precedent for practices everywhere.

‘We are delighted to have supported the Littlewick Medical Centre and the Derby and Derbyshire LMC to reach a successful conclusion in this challenging situation.’

An NHS England (North Midlands) spokesperson said: 'While we respect the decision, NHS England has not changed its position in relation to management of childhood vaccines and immunisation claims.

'The GMS direction clearly states that commissioners are unable to authorise any late submission of claims and GP practices are responsible for submitting them in a timely way. We continue to manage all claims in accordance with the directions.'

Readers' comments (5)

  • Took Early Retirement

    Must be the first for the BMA to actually DEFEND a GP practice, surely?

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  • They refused to pay for Pneumonia jabs for a whole year as it was too late. Since then we send the claims on their paperwork by recorded post coz if they lose it, it's your fault and you have no right to payments. better still, we stopped buying any jabs, hep a, depot, b12 etc - it's a system weighed against gps at least against the not so white ones- apartheid still prevails.

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  • Hat's off to Derbyshire colleagues. I saved my Practice 8 years ago due to a judicial precedence against Derbyshire PCT by a local GP.

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  • One would have thought NHSE being big enough would have the reliability and trust but no. They are acting like small time crooks getting a service and trying to worm their way out not paying through technicalities. It is time we go America's way and payment before delivery of services to save us chasing the payments which may not happen for the work you do.

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  • These small time crooks have gone to the extent to say that Deprivation factor in Kent incorporated in the Carr Hill Formula was abandoned and they are not paying Practices the amounts quoted on the Open Exeter statements.
    The say NHS Digital confirms payments are correct but refuse to pass on emails from NHSD Digital.
    NHS Digital in turn denies, under FOI enquiries, that it holds any data relating to payments.
    Total anarchy and the most crooked banana grows in Kent:)) The government is impotent and wonder whether Cialis would help ! If ever there were untouchables, we have them here.

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