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Third of PCTs forced to reschedule GP appraisals after website closure

By Smitha Mundasad

A third of PCTs have been forced to cancel or reschedule GP appraisals after the NHS Appraisal Toolkit was shut down, with some offering hundreds of pounds of compensation, Pulse can reveal.

The toolkit was closed due to fears over lax security last week, with the Department of Health promising GPs would not be ‘penalised' for not completing their appraisal as a result of the site not being available.

But the Government did not guarantee that any extra costs incurred by having to reschedule appraisals – such as locum cover - would be reimbursed.

Information from 30 PCTs reveals GPs in some areas are being offered large amounts of compensation after having to change their appraisal date, with others offered nothing.

NHS Bristol said 25 GPs had to change their assessment dates and the PCT had agreed to offer £250 reimbursement if an appraisal was postponed and the GP is unable to fill that appointment with other work.

NHS Stockport, NHS West Hertfordshire and NHS East and North Hertfordshire also said they would be covering the costs for GPs affected and a further eight said they would consider reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.

Ten of the trusts said they had no formal plans to offer compensation.

Over half of all PCTs in the survey have made arrangements to postpone assessment deadlines. Nine PCTs have extended the closing date for appraisals to the end of April and two have granted an extension until the end of May. However, GPs in some areas of the country will still be required to complete their assessments by March 31, the original deadline.

The majority of PCTs have agreed to allow the use of paper based assessments while the disruption to the online Appraisal Toolkit continues.

The appraisals website was shut down due to hacking fears -