In the past year, much of Dr Krishan Aggarwal’s attention has been focused on a crucial issue for many GPs who are concerned about their retirement options: pensions.
As deputy chair of the BMA GP Committee’s sessional GP division, Dr Aggarwal has the perhaps unenviable job of acting as an intermediary between the profession, NHS England and private firm Capita, which took over the processing of NHS GP pensions contributions through Primary Care Support England (PCSE) in 2015.
Earlier this year, following concerns raised by Dr Aggarwal, the BMA went to NHS England to try to determine the ‘value and whereabouts’ of unallocated GP pension money it believed NHS England was holding.
The BMA also demanded answers about a number of complaints made against PCSE following wider concerns about Capita’s handling of other activities, such as patient records transfers and processing of GP payments.
It has been no easy task to clear up confusion about pension contributions and provide advice on the unfolding fiasco. Yet Dr Aggarwal has successfully developed updated BMA guidance for sessional GPs on how Capita will continue to deliver the service, and has also negotiated an amnesty for the submission of pension forms.
Meanwhile, following a motion by Dr Aggarwal at the 2018 Annual Representative Meeting (ARM), the BMA is set to take action against regulations that mean some GP pension contributions are paid at a higher rate because they are based on estimated annualised earnings rather than what was actually earned – leaving some GPs with cashflow problems.
The BMA is now considering a legal challenge against the Department of Health and Social Care on the matter.
Asked to nominate a high point of the year, he recalls his re-election to the BMA’s professional fees, remuneration and organisation committees at the ARM.
In the meantime, Dr Aggarwal is also vice-chair of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea LMC and a portfolio GP in west London.
Dr Aggarwal followed in his father’s footsteps to pursue a career in general practice and he credits his parents’ support for his professional achievements.
What others say ‘Krishan has held Capita and PCSE to account, and has written multiple blogs to keep the profession up to date’