I’m currently a Scottish GP ST3, due to get my Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in August, before going straight into partnership in the south of England. Knowing how long it takes and that there might be issues with me moving from Scotland to England, I emailed Primary Care Support England (PCSE) with a few queries. Multiple times over a five-week period, but without a reply.
I called the number on the website and was told I couldn’t speak to anyone in the performers team, and could only correspond via the email address (which no one had ever replied to). I asked for the complaints team’s contacts (again via email only, without being permitted to speak to a person), and emailed them a complaint.
Then, the complaints team notified me that I couldn’t apply to the performers list until the date I get my CCT in August, and that the application process would then take up to 12 weeks. As I’m not on the English performers list as a trainee (but am on the Scottish one), and am applying to the English performers list as a principal, I can’t work in either country while my application is pending. This means that from August, I will be without income for 12 weeks, and my patients in my new partnership will be without a seven-session GP as the other partners are dropping sessions.
I was looking at the Jobcentre for non-medical work to do for 12 weeks
When I called PCSE after previous no replies, I was told I can’t speak to anyone – I’d have to email. I emailed the complaints team, as it was the only way of getting a reply, and asked if they could start the 12 week process of document checks and gathering references now, hold my application pending until 6th August when my CCT comes through, and then finalise my application that day. They refused to budge.
In the end, I involved the BMA, Wessex LMC, and finally Wessex PCP, who were able to help. They have enforced Capita to do as I suggested and get the whole application done now in advance, and then hold it pending until August, when I appear on the GP register to prevent any delays.
It’s utterly frustrating and at times terrifying to think that I would be without income for so long. I was seriously looking at the Jobcentre for non-medical work I could do for 12 weeks.
Dr Jenny Hartley is a GP trainee in Scotland
A Capita spokesperson said to Pulse: ‘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.
‘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.’