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GP pension problems on new online portal continue


Ongoing issues with the new pensions and payments portal, including GP pension information not being displayed, are continuing to be addressed, NHS England has said.

In a letter outlining how it is tackling the wide-ranging problems, NHS England said Primary Care Support England, which runs the portal, was ‘actively working on a fix’ to the defect that meant some pension data has not been transferred to the new system.

The letter, sent on 30 June, also referred to QOF payments not being made to some practices last month on 15 June, but said ‘further payment runs were made on the 28th and 30th June to ensure the contractual agreements were met’.

The issue of global sum payment statements showing the payment as zero – when the fee had been paid – ‘has now been resolved’, said NHS England.

The letter was in response to the BMA writing jointly with the Institute of General Practice Management to NHS England’s chief commercial officer to raise concerns about the new payment and pension system.

In its latest bulletin for GPs, the BMA said it had sent the letter to ‘demand urgent action to ensure that GPs and practices can use the system as intended’.

However, it said NHS England’s response ‘maintains the line that the issues we raised are merely expected “teething problems”’.

The BMA said many of the problems could have been resolved before launching the system ‘if user testing had been more thorough’.

The BMA said in its bulletin: ‘We continue to engage with PCSE in pursuit of solutions to outstanding issues as well as relevant data to allow us to measure performance, and will do so for as long as is necessary.’

NHS England’s letter to the BMA said: ‘Since the 1st June the new system has successfully processed over 187,000 payment lines – a total of £970m.

‘In the areas you have highlighted further work is needed to address early issues and improve the user experience. NHS England and Improvement is monitoring Capita’s progress with the new system through several forums, some of which attended by the BMA.’

PCSE, operated by Capita, launched its new online GP pensions and payments service on 1 June, which lets GPs manage their pensions accounts digitally, including viewing statements and submitting information such as end-of-year certificates and self-assessment forms.

But PCSE soon had to reassure GPs who were left confused after the new online pensions portal allocated everyone roles as partner, salaried and locum GPs ahead of launch.

Around 1,000 GP practices did not receive their QOF payments last month, the BMA warned, as Pulse reported on a host of errors with the new portal.

It later transpired some GPs were mistakenly given access to other people’s ‘sensitive’ pensions information after logging into their own account on PCSE’s new online portal.