Londonwide LMCs have warned GP practices to claim back all the money they are owed from PCTs before they are fully dismantled or face trouble in receiving it later.
In a letter to practices, the capital’s GP representative body has warned that the disbanding of PCTs in London would mean that ‘within weeks’ the key contacts in PCTs will have left or moved.
The warning, first made in Londonwide LMCs’ November newsletter, read: ‘The disbanding of PCTs in London is underway and within weeks the key contacts will have left or moved. We would advise all practices to submit any outstanding payment claims as soon as possible and to ensure they keep copies of all communications regarding these payments. We will continue to identify new position holders as they are appointed.’
Commenting on the measure, Dr Tony Grewal, a medical director at Londonwide LMCs and a GP in London, said LMCs can help practices struggling to recoup money from PCTs by helping them to track down the few remaining relevant administrators remaining within the outgoing trusts.
He said: ‘It was us actually being proactive. We anticipate there will be problems and we thought we would give practices a heads up on it. I was aware from personal experience that the service that we are getting from PCT finance departments was slow. Simply because it is one person left, in an office somewhere, and they are snowed under, so response times are low and slow.’
He added: ‘Now in any changeover there is always going to be the potential for chaos, losing things, and so we simply recommended that practices get their invoices in early and monitor them carefully, keep copies of everything because we suspect chaos.’
In London, PCTs were set to hand over functions to CCGs already in October and while this has been delayed, Dr Grewal said PCTs are under pressure to wind down.
He said: ‘There is pressure on them to go and most of the good people that were clinging to PCTs are now moving to their next job. So there are very few people there, they are under enormous pressure and whilst it’s not a criticism of individuals it is just the simple fact of the matter.’