Accountants call for urgent reinstatement of local interface for NHS England support services

Accountants are calling for urgent consideration to be given to restoring local knowledge and contacts within primary care support services in England. A briefing submitted to GPC England by the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), says that the centralisation of primary care support services, outsourced by NHS England to Capita, has led to the loss of local knowledge and contact base. The briefing highlighted significant concerns relating to Capita’s performance with regard to practice payments and pension administration.

Andrew Pow, AISMA board member, said: “If there is one aspect that should be considered urgently it is the need for the local support services interface to be restored, so that managers have a “go to” person to contact who can deal with issues in their area.

“This would result in returning the significant amount of lost management time to general practice so that managers can get on with the important job of managing their practices at what is a very difficult time for the sector.”

The AISMA briefing to GPC England highlighted problems in three areas; failure to pay practices in a timely manner for work performed; failure to process the correct pension deductions and update pension records; and failure to provide a clear interface between support services and GP practices to resolve issues quickly.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP England Executive Team lead on PCSE, said:

“There have been some improvements in the way the PCSE contract has operated since its launch in 2015, largely down to continued pressure from the BMA, LMCs and other organisations. However, there has been a worrying loss of expert knowledge in key areas which AISMA highlights, especially in the administration of key accounting and financial operations. Far too many mistakes are occurring which has left practice payments, pension payments and GP training grants in a state of confusion. The BMA has made it clear to PCSE that this situation must be addressed as a matter of priority.”