GPs who got thousands in pensions compensation silenced by NHS gagging clause

19th March 2021 by NASGP

GPs who got thousands in pensions compensation silenced by NHS gagging clause

At least 35 GPs got an average of £1,000 each in compensation, with some banned from talking about it, Pulse reports in a new exclusive.

GP Survival, a cross-profession campaign group, found out in an FOI that NHS England had paid out thousands of pounds to GPs after Primary Care Support England (PCSE) mishandled pensions information.

The compensation offer was made on the condition that GPs accepted a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prevented them from talking about the payment.

The sum of all the pay-outs was revealed by an FOI response by NHS England, requested by the group in January.

Pulse spoke to Dr Jeremy Heath, a GP locum in Cornwall, who was offered £1,000 in compensation last year after three years chasing “thousands of pounds” of unaccounted-for contributions.

Dr Heath told Pulse: “They wouldn’t answer my phone calls, they weren’t responding to emails or the online [system] so I think the compensation is for the amount of time I put in chasing an error on their part.’

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “GP Survival’s work has highlighted the lengths that PCSE is happy to go to in order to avoid being overwhelmed by their creaking systems as they seek to correct pension records.

“The frustration felt by so many of us GP locums when contacting PCSE about our pension records is only too real, and it’s time they moved towards a far more friendly and transparent way of handling problems.

“If this last year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of having robust systems and processes in place. What GPs need right now is much greater assurance and confidence in their retirement plans.”

"I've tried simple templates or hard copies of locum packs before but find they so quickly become out of date. I like the way the NASGP's Standardised Practice Information Portal is easier to navigate and update than these paper-based systems."

Dr Amy Kerstein

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