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25 September 2018
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A GP practice has been forced to cut back on staff after Capita reclaimed thousands of pounds without explanation or notice, it has claimed.
The Court Street Medical Practice, based in Madeley, near Telford, said this included £7,000 reclaimed due to ‘payment errors’ but said it had not received an explanation from Primary Care Support England, operated by Capita, regarding the issues.
The practice has also had money reclaimed from it related to superannuation, which it said was in part caused by Capita not recording the retirement of one of its doctors.
Business partner Clive Elliott told our sister publication Pulse: ‘We are a small practice of 6,000 patients and this month we have had £7,000 taken off us in “payment errors” for various months going back to the start of the year with no explanation, no reasons given and you can’t even get to talk to anyone to find out why.
‘In addition, we are owed £3,000 because Capita continued to take a doctor’s superannuation payments since 1 April despite him leaving on 31 March – and them being [told] in January of his leaving. Also, they have messed up the seniority payments for our senior partner.’
He said that the practice is ‘also owed for various smaller amounts which weren’t paid last month because “not every practice got their claims in on time so we kept everyone’s back”’.
He added: ‘We are going to have to get rid of a member of staff because of this chaos.’
Mr Elliott said: ‘We never know from one month to another how much money we will get, which makes it virtually impossible to plan and to do all the things which the NHS says it wants and patients need.
‘To make matters worse, when Capita messes payments up, they take money back without warning and sometimes even the wrong amount but when we are owed money such as pension refunds and seniority errors, it is like getting blood from a stone.
‘They won’t allow us to claim for work done over six months ago but have no qualms about reclaiming payment errors from two years ago. It’s a constant battle and it’s getting worse.’
Capita told Pulse that PCSE administers monthly contracts and reimbursements to GP practices but is not responsible for determining how much a practice gets paid or what should be deducted.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are dependent on instructions to make payments and deductions from authorised contacts in NHSE and CCGs, and on receipt of full and complete information provided by deadlines from practices.’
Pulse has reported on GPs suffering severe disruptions to primary care support services – including with payments, pensions, performers list registrations, records movement and medical supplies – since the contract was awarded to Capita in 2015.
The BMA, which is supporting practices in taking legal routes to seek resolution to a raft of Capita payment issues, said that it did not comment on individual cases.
Earlier this year, the National Audit Office reported that the outsourcing ‘potentially compromised patient safety’ and instructed NHS England to consider taking services back in house.
And in July, NHS England was ordered by the Public Accounts Committee to show how it has compensated GPs for the botched outsourcing.
The news comes as Capita has informed practices that due to a technical fault, queries submitted between 17 July and earlier this week were not received and will have to be resubmitted.
The GPC said the issue, which did not affect queries relating to CET claims, GP payments, GP pensions or pre-visit notification, represented ‘yet another failure’.
This story was first published on our sister publication Pulse.