GPs left unable to practise because of Capita’s management of National Performers List

By agency reporter
May 15, 2018

GPs who are left unable to practise because of problems with Capita’s management of the National Performers List are having to wait an “excruciating” four months without work before being able to claim compensation, the British Medical Association (BMA) has revealed.

In a reply to a freedom of information (FOI) request, NHS England, which commissions Primary Care Support England (PCSE) services to Capita, said settlements would be offered on a “goodwill basis” only in “exceptional cases”. It defined this as cases in which an application to the Performers List was delayed by more than 16 weeks through no fault of the individual GP. This effectively means a GP would be out of work for four months before being able to claim reimbursement for lost earnings.

GPs must be on the Performers List before they are allowed to practise in England. Newly qualified GPs, as well as those coming to work in England from the other devolved nations, have to apply to the National Performers List by supplying PCSE with all the relevant information required, which it should then process.

This process should routinely take no longer than 12 weeks start to finish.  

Since 2015, when Capita took responsibility for the delivery of PCSE services, the programme has been beset by problems in various areas, including management of the Performers List, the administration of GP payments and pensions, and the transfer of patient records between practices.

The BMA’s GP committee has been working hard over the last two years to put pressure on NHS England to rectify these issues and be held accountable for the negative impact this has had on individual GPs.

Dr Ian Hume, BMA GP committee premises and practice finance policy lead, said, “Imagine not being allowed to do your job – despite being professionally qualified and positions being available – because of an admin error. Now imagine being told to sit on your hands for four months, without work, before your case is deemed “exceptional” enough to even consider compensating you for lost earnings.

“Four months is an excruciatingly long time to wait without wages in any profession. Doctors affected by these delays will have mortgages to pay, households to support and in many cases families to feed. Any delay in wages being paid is unacceptable but 16 weeks is appalling.

“We are in the midst of a recruitment and retainment crisis in general practice, and here we have a case of GPs who are qualified and who want to work, but are unable to because of the incompetent management of an administrative system by a private sector company.

“After two years of chaos, Capita has showed once again that it is not able to deliver this system, and we call on NHS England to urgently provide solutions to the litany of problems GPs and practice teams are still facing.”

Primary Care Support England (PCSE), also known as Capita, have been responsible for the delivery of NHS England's primary care support services since September 2015.

GPs and LMCs identified serious issues with the service from the outset, with patient safety, GP workload and GP finances being affected.

Talks between the BMA, NHS England and PCSE began in a bid to raise these issues, to act quickly to resolve them and to give GPs and their practices confidence in the services PCSE provide. However, services are still falling short of what is acceptable.

* Download more about the work the BMA is doing on PCSE and Capita  here

* British Medical Association https://www.bma.org.uk/

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