The BMA has taken urgent action to provide its members with the first in a series of practical resources that aims to tackle problems caused by failings in the service delivery of Primary Care Support England (PCSE). This follows two years of engagement with NHS England to resolve widespread, outstanding issues affecting practitioners.
The BMA’s new online guidance assists practices, Local Medical Committees (LMCs) and GPs in making a legal written request for undisputed debts to be paid within 21 days, with amendable covering letter and legal form templates.
The PCSE function that is delivered by Capita is responsible for processing NHS England’s payments to general practice for the services they have provided, but current procedures - particularly to reimburse money owed - have proved to be both burdensome and frustrating.
Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: “PCSE’s failure over the last two years to deliver high quality care support services is having a major negative effect on practices and individual GPs. One aspect of this persistent failure has been an unacceptable impact on our members’ finances. Too many payment errors and delays have left us with no choice but to take this unprecedented decision to support general practices with legal action.
“We’re very disappointed that although NHS England has known about this problem for a long time, it has taken no effective action to force PCSE to make the required payments - money that is owed to our members. There is an urgent need to resolve these issues so that practices and GPs can recoup money owed, and to give them the confidence in the service PCSE is providing. NHS England not only need to comply with the Statutory Demands from practices with outstanding debts, but also must act with more urgency and determination to resolve the underlying issues that are creating the need for this action.“
The guidance can be found on the BMA's website.
Notes to editors
1. The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
2. NHS England is the operational name for the National Health Service Commissioning Board which is a company created by statute. This means that although it is not a company registered at Companies House, it is nonetheless a company and, under section 222 of the Insolvency Act 1986, it can be served with Statutory Demands and can be wound up if it fails to comply.