The BMA has warned NHS England that practices must not be left to correct errors in PCSE’s new pension portal, and that GPs must be compensated for any time and money spent putting things right.
In a letter addressed to NHS England, sent on Monday (21 June), the BMA said it is seeing a ‘high volume of concern from’ members, practices following a host of payment issues with PCSE’s new online portal, and said these problems ‘could create significant and unacceptable cash flow issues’.
It told NHS England, in the letter, that it wants to highlight these ‘serious concerns’ with the system and is seeking ‘assurances that everything is being done to ensure the accuracy of the data, to mitigate issues arising, and to minimise any impact on GPs and practices.’
This comes as it emerged earlier in the week that around 1,000 GP practices have not received their QOF payments this month, alongside ‘discrepancies between payments received and what practices were expecting’.
The BMA said that given the ‘widespread’ issues being reported, it lacks confidence in the new pay system and ‘Capita’s ability to deliver it’.
The letter said: ‘The lack of accurate data being made available as promised is already having a significant impact on individuals, practices, and the profession more generally.
‘It should obviously not fall to doctors and practices to ensure that PCSE has got everything right and to correct their errors. Where it is the case that either are needing to spend additional time and money to do this, they will need to be appropriately compensated.’
The BMA highlighted a number of issues with the new PCSE pay portal, including:
- Data not currently showing on the new system, though there have been assurances this information has not been lost.
- Where data is visible, there have been reports that much of it is incorrect.
- Pension statements are lacking the ‘level of detail to which users have become accustomed’, leaving GPs and accountants ‘confused and facing additional work and costs’.
- Incorrect, missing and double payments and ‘confusion as to what some payments are for’.
The BMA added that it is also ‘concerned with the level and quality of engagement PCSE is conducting with the profession’ and called for better communication, adding GPs must be made aware of the ‘fallback’ should the system ‘continue to perform at an inappropriate level and/or be unable to continue’.