GP practices that have been affected by primary care support service failures are being urged to send their financial compensation claims to NHS England.
The GPC said this comes after it has reached agreement on an ‘arrangement’ with NHS England, which means practices can ask for compensation for both direct and indirect financial losses.
The agreement comes as GP practices have suffered from a long list of support service failures – ranging from non-payments to performers’ list delays – since NHS England outsourced the Primary Care Support England (PCSE) services to Capita on a national basis in 2015.
An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘We are aware there may be primary care contractors or individual performers who believe they have been detrimentally affected by recent changes to primary care support services.
‘We have provided a route for contractors or individuals to raise such issues, and they will be considered on a case-by-case basis.’
The GPC said in advice to practices: ‘Practices or individuals who can provide evidence of the financial loss they have incurred as a result of Capita’s failures can contact NHS England to make a claim…
‘NHS England, as the commissioner of this service, has a responsibility to recompense practices or individual doctors who have demonstrable loss as a direct result of failures by PCSE.’
The GPC guidance added that financial claims could include both direct loss of income – such as non-payment of contractual payments – and indirect losses – such as having to take out a loan to cover practice expenses, or delays in being registered on the performers list.
But it warned that before making a claim, practices should ‘fully consider’ their losses as accepting a compensation offer could prevent them seeking further redress in future.
The guidance further suggested that practices turned down for compensation following NHS England’s consideration could also turn to civil small claims courts.
Practices are advised to send their claims to email@example.com along with as much factual detail, dates and supporting information as possible.
A Capita spokesperson said: ‘This is a matter for NHS England.’
Primary care support service failures
NHS England’s agreement comes after the GPC has been calling for practices to be able to claim for compensation for a year.
The contract, which runs from 2015-2021, ran into problems soon after services transferred from local offices to Capita’s new national function.
- new systems for transferring patient notes and delivering medical supplies not keeping up with demand, causing disruption for practices;
- a log-jam in performers list applications left qualified doctors sitting at home for six months, and put trainees’ registrations at risk;
- trainees going unpaid nationwide; and
- one practice which was left with £100,000 in missing payments.