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Progress. It’s not much but it’s something. Things that are looking like they might be solved:
On both counts we have asked NHS England to be clear that all GPs need to have access to NHS e-mail, and to local education events. They have told us they will be writing to commissioners across the country and I will be asking LMCs to help ensure this is implemented. LMCs represent all GPs whether you are a locum, salaried or partner. They are the bodies that make sure what is promised at national level, actually happens locally. It’s not an easy job, and they need sessional doctors to tell them when things aren’t going well. I spoke to the LMC secretaries conference last week about how important it is to work with sessional GPs. Some LMCs are way ahead, but many are keen to try and represent sessional doctors more, but draw a blank when it comes to contacting us or getting us along to LMC meetings. We have rewritten our advice to LMCs on engaging with sessional doctors which you can read here to give examples from across the country of different ways of working.
If you’re never heard of your LMC, here is a link to find out who it is.
Ring them, ask to go to a meeting, tell them what the problems are. Ask if they have read the excellent newsletter from the sessional subcommittee…..!
Zoe Norris is chair of the sessional GP committee
Follow her on Twitter @dr_zo
Any news on the NHS pension payment debacle? I emailed my pension area team following Simon England's (Managing Director of Primary Care Support Services) email advising us to do so 6 week ago, regarding a cheque I sent 6 months ago and have still heard nothing. I spend up to an hour each week on the phone to the team trying to get an answer. Sometimes they just don't answer and often I am told they will call back but never do. What can I do??
Any advise on what a locum should do come April when the indemnity fee payment from the GPFV is going to be added to Practice funding? Should we be invoicing for more with this in mind to ensure it is passed on to us? Already taking bookings for next year so need to negotiate asap
On locums getting reimbursed for the indemnity fee NASGP said something about it here but not sure how far this has progressed www.nasgp.org.uk/.../
Hi, to try and answers the questions below:
NHS pension payment - keep a track of any payments you have made that haven't been cashed. The main website to watch is this one pcse.england.nhs.uk/.../ but we are well aware that the customer service is appalling. The discussions with NHSE and Capita have reached compensation stage: for locums, the sessional subcommittee want this to include any lost pension payments, the ability to make those payments beyond the usual deadline, free pension statements until we are sure the system is working accurately, and financial compensation if mistakes have meant individuals are unable to work. It's not quick enough, and hugely frustrating, but all I can say is to continue to keep track of your personal situation so once we have waded through the bureaucracy, we can at least make sure no one is disadvantaged long term.
Locums and indemnity from the GPFV - the payments to cover increases in indemnity payments will continue to go directly to practices. Despite looking at other ways for this to be distributed fairly to salaried and locum GPs, the only way will be for us to ensure that salaried doctors are clear on the amounts they should be receiving. For locums we will be issuing clear guidance on the amount which should be identified in your invoice to account for the indemnity funding. GPC will be publicising this to both practices and locums so the position is absolutely clear, and I continue to tell NHSE and the Department of Health how vital the large sessional workforce is and how they must be valued equally.
Dear Zoe,with regards to the GP forward view scheme to incentivise older GP's to remain in service I think it completely misses the point.I fall into this group.There is already a way for us to reduce our workload and work more flexibly..leave partnership and become a sessional doctor,I did that 3 and half years ago.Now at the age of 55 yearsthe incentive I need to remain working is a relaxation of the ridiculously burdensome revalidation and appraisal schemes.I have taken part in annual appraisal for some 15 years or so and revalidated in 2013.My most recent appraiser has treated me like a 6th form student,and the burden of preparing for another revalidation is what will make me hang up my stethoscope in the next 12 months.GP's in their late 50's who have been revalidated and taken part in the appraisal process over many years,and given many years of service and shown already their commitment to lifelong learning and high quality practice must surely be shown some respect by this huge expensive and self serving juggernaut that is the revalidation process if they are to be enticed to stay.
I have now been waiting 5 months for confirmation of my August and July NHS pension payment - how can I escalate this? I am not getting anyway trying to chase up the pension team at Preston where I sent it. It is unacceptable. I am concerned they are incompetent and even if they get my money, they don't put it in my pot. Is there any way we can check they are pensioning it correctly? I think we should provided with annual statements free of charge. This needs to be dealt with, with a matter of urgency. How can they apply the 10 week rule to us when they behave as they do?
I would totally agree with the comments re appraisal and revalidation. I am near retirement age and I am thinking -do I really want to go through all this hassle?
Zoe you mention the reimbursement of the indemnity fee. With respect to employers who may pay the whole or part of the indemnity fee for their salaried GP's then I would presume the fee stays with the practice or whoever is paying the indemnity. Is this correct?
As a locum however, is there any guidance on claiming this from practices. Do we simply increase our fees to reflect this?
To try and answer the queries below:
- if you are having any problems with the pensions debacle, email me at [email protected] with as much detail as you can and I will start looking into cases with the team here. The more examples, the better. I am pushing for NHSE and Capita to ensure any cheques delayed or missing are still honoured and the 10 week deadline is waived. This mess is not the fault of GPs who have paid their pension contributions in the approved way in good faith. They should not be disadvantaged by the mess of the last 12 months.
- Indemnity fee increase - yes we will be issuing guidance both from us on the sessional subcommittee to locums and salaried doctors, but also as part of the contract roadshows to practices and partners. NHSE have pledged to do the same so everyone knows where they stand, and how much funding should be going to salaried, and locum GPs per session worked. If you are booking beyond April 16 I would provisionally advise practices there will be an addition made to your invoice to reclaim the indemnity rise which NHSE is funding. Advise that this will be based upon information from the Sessional Subcommittee of the GPs committee of the BMA and we will work to get it out asap.
- thanks for the feedback on the proposed scheme for older GPs. It reflects my thoughts on the proposals but I'm conscious I am not in the target demographic so wanted to sense check.