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GPs to hire debt collectors to go after payments unpaid by Capita



A group of GPs is talking to debt collectors about ‘going after Capita’ for unpaid trainee salaries, maternity pay and pension deductions.

Pressure group GP Survival is appealing for practices to send details of any payments they are owed, and how long it has gone unpaid, ahead of a meeting with the collection firm on Wednesday.

A post by GP Survival chair Dr Matt Mayer says the action is intended to ‘hold Capita to account where other bodies have failed to do so’ as well as get practices the money they are owed.

He told Pulse the group was still early in the process of collecting data from GPs but ‘so far we’re looking at dozens of practices affected with debts ranging from £3,000 to £40,000′.

NHS England contracted Capita to overhaul primary care support services and introduce new systems for everything from moving patient records to making payments in 2015.

But practices have borne the brunt of sustained disruption with unclear invoices and problems with pensions and payments exacerbated by a lack of effective support from Capita.

NHS England figures from the first seven months of the contract show hundreds of practices did not receive payments on time.

NHS England is ultimately responsible for paying practices and the service delivered by Capita, but it has so far ignored requests to compensate practices for the disruption, except for a small one-off payment for extra work involved in moving records.

Dr Mayer’s post said: ‘GP Survival has a plan to recover money owed to practices by Capita. As you are well aware, practices up and down the country report being owed tens of thousands of pounds in unpaid registrar salaries, maternity pay, pension deductions, etc.

‘Our plan is to use debt collectors to go after Capita for these debts. We have posted on our forum and also on the Practice Manager’s forum and are getting plenty of responses already.’

It adds that practices should email him (campaigngpsurvival@gmail.com) with details of ‘how much they are owed and why they are owed it, as well as the nature of why they are owed it, how many invoices they have sent and when they sent the first invoice etc’.

Dr Mayer has previously employed debt collectors to pursue locum agency Primary Care People over late payments.

He told Pulse a final decision on how debt collection from Capita and NHS England might work was part of his discussions with the agency.

It comes as last month, GP practices affected by primary care support service failures were invited to send their financial compensation claims to NHS England.

Pulse has approached NHS England and Capita for comment.