Primary Care Support England (PCSE) has moved to reassure GPs who were confused following emails preceding the launch of its new online pay and pension portal this week.
GPs registered for online accounts with Primary Care Support England (PCSE) received three separate emails over the Bank Holiday weekend, informing them that they had been ‘allocated’ roles as principal; salaried; and locum GP respectively.
Confused GPs took to Twitter to express their concern, with some thinking errors had been made with regards to their pension accounts.
To clear this up, PCSE sent out a subsequent email clarifying that it allocated these roles to ‘ensure that [GPs] can access all aspects of the new service’, including historic pensions data, and apologised for any confusion it caused.
It also clarified that this ‘does not mean your role has been changed in the system’.
BMA’s lead on pensions Dr Krishan Aggarwal said this followed their request to PCSE to clarify the situation.
The online GP Pensions and Payments service was launched yesterday (1 June) and allows GPs to manage their pensions accounts digitally, including viewing statements and submitting information including end-of-year certificates and self-assessment forms. Practices can also submit payments claims via the service.
GP Survival chair Dr John Hughes told Pulse that a lot of GPs thought the messages were spam and deleted them, while others ‘got quite upset and thought there was another mistake being made’ regarding their pensions.
He said: ‘They announced they were setting up this new portal, which is supposed to be simpler and work better, but they didn’t tell anybody they were sending out the emails.’
Surrey GP partner Dr Dave Triska told Pulse: ‘There was no warning this was going to happen. So everyone is flipping out over the weekend, thinking there is this huge pensions thing coming. It caused massive amounts of consternation. And obviously no one could access any advice over the weekend.’
Pulse has approached Capita for comment.
This comes as in March, Pulse revealed that NHS England had paid out thousands of pounds in compensation to GPs for mishandling their pensions but had banned them from talking about it.