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Clarifying points on NHS pensions at private firms

I write in response to your recent article ‘Private firms push for NHS pensions’ to clarify three important facts.

(News: ‘Private firms push for NHS pensions)

First, Assura Medical is not ‘lobbying ministers to allow them to offer NHS pensions to GPs’. As a leading provider in the sector, we would like to be involved in any future consultation that the Department of Health and Treasury will have on this matter.

Second, Assura Minerva does not provide the out-of-hours services in Bath and North East Somerset. Assura subcontracts Bath & North East Somerset Emergency Medical Service (BEMS) to provide some of the sessional GPs who work in the Bath NHS Healthcare Centre.

Third, in this case BEMS made the pension payments direct to its staff and has since unpicked these retrospectively and returned the funds appropriately.

All these points were made clear to Pulse but did not make it into the report.

From Bart Johnson, chief executive, Assura Medical