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Practices report incorrect, missing, and double payments through PCSE system

by James Hacker
28 June 2021

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GP practices have reported receiving incorrect amounts and missing or double payments through the new PCSE online portal, the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) has told NHS England.

In a letter, delivered last Monday and published 25 June, the IGPM told NHSE that the payment issues ‘go beyond’ the ‘teething’ problems expected from a system which had launched only three weeks earlier (1 June).

The IGPM said that the statements display a ‘lack of detail’. which has made it ‘needlessly difficult for practices to check whether they are correct’.

The Institute added that these issues could create ‘significant and unacceptable cashflow issues’ as the month’s global sum payment run approaches.

It said: ‘The lack of accurate data being made available as promised is already having a significant impact on individuals, practices and the profession more generally.

‘It should obviously not fall to doctors and practices to ensure that PCSE has got everything right and to correct their errors.’

It said that practices will need to be ‘appropriately compensated’ in cases where they have had to spend additional time and money correcting these issues.

Last week, it was found that around 1,000 GP practices had not received their QOF payments this month.

Missing pensions data creating additional work

The letter, which was also signed by the BMA’s GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey, also flagged that ‘there are all kinds of data not currently showing on the new system’ relating to pensions.

It added that where data is visible, it has been reported that much of it is ‘incorrect’, with pension statements lacking the level of detail users are familiar with.

‘GPs and their accountants are left confused and facing additional work, and therefore costs’ while they wait for this to be addressed, it said.

Engagement with the profession

Meanwhile, the IGPM outlined its concerns with ‘the level and quality of engagement PCSE is conducting with the profession’ and stakeholders including the BMA.

‘We must be confident that the system is able to cope with the volume of data and the processing of payments that, where issues arise, they are resolved in a timely manner,’ it said.

It added that despite ‘extensive user acceptance testing’, suggestions for improvement appear to have not been implemented. It said that it had raised this directly with PCSE.

‘PCSE must communicate more with the profession about how it is resolving system issues raised by GPs and practices,’ it said, adding that practices should be made aware of a ‘fallback’ in case the system continues to perform at an ‘inappropriate’ level.

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