This site is intended for health professionals only

NHS England seeking legal advice to claw back £28m in GP seniority ‘overpayments’

NHS England seeking legal advice to claw back £28m in GP seniority ‘overpayments’

NHS England is currently seeking legal advice on whether it can recover £28m it has ‘overpaid’ GPs.

NHS England’s annual report and accounts for 2020/21, published yesterday, revealed it incurred £28.4m in cash losses due to ‘overpayments’ for GP partner seniority payments.

The report said: ‘Prior to the commencement of the Capita PCSE contract in 2015, there was inconsistency in the approach to adjustments across the regions, meaning that reconciliation exercises and payment adjustments may not have routinely been undertaken by all areas’.

It added: ‘This resulted in GPs receiving payments not aligned to entitlement.

‘NHS England’s service management team is currently seeking legal advice to determine the appropriate actions to take, in order to ensure recovery of the overpaid sums.’

NHS England said it is now considering ‘how to recover the overpaid sums from GPs when the payments were made to the GP practices’.

It is also considering how to assess whether the GPs in question ‘are still in service in order to enable recovery’, it added.

The letter said: ‘This consultation process remains ongoing with the legal team. 

Article continues below this sponsored advert

‘Once it is concluded NHS England will ensure that DHSC and HM Treasury are consulted in order to seek the appropriate approvals.’

In 2019, it was revealed that GPs could receive thousands of pounds of extra seniority pay following revised NHS Digital figures for 2015/16.

Seniority factor payments were introduced as part of the GMS contract in 2004 and were designed to reward GPs’ experience but the 2014/15 GMS contract began to phase them out.

The scheme closed for new applications on 1 April 2014, with the payments completely scrapped from 31 March 2020. 

To qualify for seniority pay, GPs had to have served in the NHS for eight years and earn over a certain amount.

The average seniority payment for GPs in England was £5,033 in 2015/16.

Funds previously used for seniority payments were transferred to the global sum, with 44p per patient coming from seniority pay reinvestment.

Some GPs previously called for the reintroduction of seniority payments to incentivise being a partner.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Barry Moyse 4 February, 2022 4:09 pm

Well, well, well. £4b of covid funding for businesses estimated to have been claimed knowingly fraudulently is being written off. £24m given accidentally and accepted in good faith by “hardworking GPs” to be clawed back. If they want any of mine they can see me in Court.

Moira Langdale-Brown 4 February, 2022 4:25 pm

Are they TRYING to make us all retire as soon as possible? I am sure I’ve only received what I was due but I don’t trust them or their calculations.

Rogue 1 4 February, 2022 4:53 pm

Yet another example of NHSE incompetence

Richard Greenway 4 February, 2022 11:33 pm

I wonder how much their legal advice will cost?
This scheme was scrapped 2 years ago- and I suspect money they are trying to claim is historic. Suggest they take legal action against Capita to reclaim -not GPs or Practices.

Slobber Dog 5 February, 2022 2:59 pm

NHSE malfeasance.

David Church 7 February, 2022 11:42 am

I would agreee with Richard Greenway, but sadly Barry Moyse is wrong : NHSE can just claw-back the amounts from current practice payments without Court authority – and you will not be able to afford to take them to court to get it back.

I can legally give advice, though it would not be Legal Advice, but, I would strongly advise NHSE not to heap further insult on the GPs whose goodwill they have been relying on overmuch for years, as it is about to break, and a last straw may be too much for the camel’s back!

Patrufini Duffy 7 February, 2022 2:26 pm

Why don’t you right it off like all the BILLIONS GIVEN TO YOUR MATES?

Turn out The Lights 7 February, 2022 9:29 pm

Track and trace remind me how much that cluster fu## cost again.Dildo Hardings world class organisation.It’s easier to bully the small people,Than the big boys.Good will now zero watch the workforce shrink and productivity shrink.Do I Care now NoNoNo.

Jacques Ransford 8 February, 2022 1:11 pm

£28M will fund the NHS for TWO HOURS.

David Jarvis 9 February, 2022 1:31 pm

This is a clusterfuck. I am aware that my old senior partner was paid full seniority. He worked full time but the practice income was below the threshold I think 70% of average net income so should have been only a part payment. Apart from the inequity of this that was done as checking between full and part time was too difficult for them penalised lower earning practitioners. They were not interested at the time and it was probably only 1 or 2 years before the lower income got sorted by our own efforts. But ultimately this money will have been taxed at 40% (won’t affect the higher earners) so if clawed back the Drs affected will be due the tax back surely. If they argue it is more than the limits then surely this should apply both ways.