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BMA demands information on GP pensions failures

And seeks written reassurance that no GP will be adversely impacted by Capita failings

Louise Prime

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Doctors’ leaders have demanded more information from NHS England about serious failures affecting GPs’ pension contributions, and are seeking written reassurances that Capita’s failings will not have an adverse financial impact on a single GP.

The BMA said that it has made formal requests to NHS England (NHSE) under the 2000 Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, following ‘ongoing and serious failures of Primary Care Support England (PCSE)’s service delivery of NHSE functions.’

NHSE in 2015 sub-contracted PCSE functions, delivered by Capita, to process GPs’ pension contributions for the NHS Pension Scheme – particularly those for sessional or locum GPs. However, there were several flaws in PCSE’s administration of superannuation contributions in England.

The two FOI requests submitted to NHSE by the BMA relate to:

  • the value and whereabouts of unallocated monies;
  • the absence of bank details for online transfers;
  • out-of-date GP pension records;
  • and the number of complaints made against PCSE and the lack of communication from PCSE.
The BMA said that it has also requested that NHS England provide information on the NHSE-operated compensation scheme for GPs affected by administrative delays.

BMA GP committee (GPC) member Dr Krishan Aggarwal said: “Our FOI requests are a result of our ongoing concerns with PCSE’s ability to process the pension contributions of GPs.
 
“While we understand that our concerns are being taken seriously, ultimately it is the responsibility of NHSE to ensure that individuals’ pension contributions are processed correctly, that their records are up to date and that they are submitted to NHS Pensions on time.
 
“NHSE must resolve these issues so that no GP is financially penalised due to the processing of pension contributions by PCSE.”
 
The BMA said GPC policy lead Ian Hume has reassured members that the GPC will report back to them with the outcomes of the FOIs and he is seeking written assurances from NHS England that no GP will be adversely impacted by Capita failings.

The BMA also suggested that individual GPs who are concerned about the impact of PCSE processing failures might, until the FOI outcomes are known, wish to submit their own subject access requests (SARs) to NHS England, as well as seeking independent financial advice about their own affairs. It pointed out that under the Data Protection Act 1998, SARs can be submitted to any organisation that processes personal data.

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