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Dr Grant Ingrams: ‘We can no longer rely on the NHS to pay us in a timely fashion’

They used to pay us halfway through the month so we could actually make sure it was in before we paid the staff. But now they pay us, basically on the same day as the payments go out to staff.

Because we haven’t had the money in, a lot of the payments out have bounced – including the salaries for our staff. So our staff are up in arms – quite rightly.

We’re obviously trying to sort that out. But now they’re saying “we’re going to get charges” – again, which is quite right – and we’re going to get charges as a practice.

It does mean that, as partners, we’re going to have to put another £20 grand back into the practice just in case they cock up again. Are we going to have to increase our capital account because we can no longer rely on the NHS to pay us in a timely fashion?’

At the moment it’s hard to know what the total penalty cost is, because I don’t know what the total costs will be. We have to decide are we going to reimburse the staff for their out-of-pocket expenses, even if we can’t reclaim it? Because it’s not the staff’s fault.

I honestly don’t know yet. I’ve been trying to get hold of our account manager at the bank. He’s either not there or he’s got so many demands because I know he looks after several practices.