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Capita to launch new online system to deal with performers list pension issues

primary care consultants

Capita is set to launch a new online system to resolve issues with the National Performers List, it has emerged.

Pulse understands the new system is due to be piloted soon and will launch by the end of this year. Capita said it could not provide further information at this stage.

In order to work in the UK, GPs are required to join the National Performers List. 

According to Primary Care Support England (PCSE), those lists provide ‘an extra layer of reassurance for the public that GPs, dentists and opticians practicing in the NHS are suitably qualified, have up to date training, have appropriate English language skills and have passed other relevant checks such as with the Disclosure and Barring Service and the NHS Litigation Authority’.

The BMA previously warned that a number of GPs were unable to work – causing them a ‘significant loss of earnings’ – due to delays in updating their performers lists. In addition, ‘GP trainees are not being added to the performers list within an acceptable timeframe when they have qualified’, the BMA said. 

GP Survival chair Dr Nicholas Grundy said Capita failed to update his practice’s new salaried GP Performers List status for a year, which means that her employer’s pension contributions might have been taken incorrectly during that time. 

He said: ‘For practices, there is a problem in that when a doctor moves practices – or moves from locum to salaried work – PCSE are seemingly incapable of sorting their pension out until their Performers List status is updated. This, of course, should be handled by PCSE but it’s nigh-impossible to get this changed.

‘My own practice has employed a salaried doctor for more than a year now, and we have submitted the paperwork to get her Performers List status updated three times. She is still registered with her old practice.’ 

He added: ‘This means that her employer’s pension contributions are probably still being taken, incorrectly, from her old practice. It means none of her employer’s pension contributions have been taken from my practice yet, so we have to keep them aside until PCSE gets its act together.’

Capita said the online system will help ‘improve the time taken to process a change request and accuracy’.

A Capita spokesperson said: ‘PCSE is working closely with NHS England and other parties who contribute to the performance of the end-to-end process for the National Performers List. This is currently a lengthy process with a number of checks and approvals across multiple organisations. To streamline it, we are creating a secure, online system that will address a number of issues inherent in the current paper-based system.

They added: ‘This will improve the time taken to process a change request and accuracy, and deliver better transparency around the progress of applications. The new system will ensure pension deductions taken from practices for GPs are updated faster.’

Health minister Stephen Hammond admitted last week that pension tax ‘may be a factor in doctors deciding to retire early or limit their NHS commitments’

It emerged this month that there has been a ‘sharp rise’ in the number of GPs seeking pension advice, with some GPs facing personal bills of up to £50,000.

Meanwhile, NHS England announced in September a review of all GP pension data in light of ‘discrepancies’ discovered between the data held for pensionable earnings and those for pension contributions