The new system for calculating payments to GP practices, which was due to launch this month, has been delayed because of issues with its performance.
Last month, NHS England urged GP practices to engage with Primary Care Support England if they were contacted regarding ‘list reconciliation’ ahead of the launch scheduled for October.
It said ‘most’ practices would not notice a difference in income from the change, but it had identified ‘a small number’ who would.
Pulse has asked NHS England why it was postponed and when it is now expected to launch but NHS England did not respond.
However, according to the BMA’s GP Committee, the decision to pause the system launch followed ‘final performance testing’.
The latest GPC newsletter said: ‘The new GP pay and pensions system was planned to launch imminently. Following final performance testing the launch that has now been postponed.’
It added: ‘GPs and practices should continue to use Open Exeter until notified otherwise. PCSE are communicating to all practices and LMCs to confirm this.’
GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘[GPC England] has played a key role in the testing and scrutinising of the new GP pay and pensions system, and while we’re disappointed it’s been delayed, we also believe it’s right to wait until the service is operating to the highest standard before the new system is launched.
‘In the meantime, we would encourage any practices that haven’t already prepared for the new system to do so at the earliest opportunity to ensure their payments are not negatively affected by the upcoming changes.’
He added that the GPC will ‘continue to review all aspects of the system to make sure it works for everyone’ once it has been launched.
He also reiterated that GPC has been given ‘absolute assurance’ from NHS England ‘that business continuity arrangements are in place to enable payment in the event of any issues’.
Practice payments are currently calculated by the National Health Application and Infrastructure Service (NHAIS) system but NHSE has said this needs to be replaced because it is ‘at the end of its working life’.
The replacement system calculates payments using patient demographic data provided by the Personal Demographics Service (PDS – often referred to as the Spine).