£21m dementia DES pay delayed as GPs struggle with data backlog

Payments worth £21m for the 2013/14 dementia DES will be delayed because NHS IT problems left one in five GP practices unable to meet a 2 June deadline for entering achievement data.

Data entry: deadline extension will delay payments to practices
Data entry: deadline extension will delay payments to practices

Practices in England have been allowed an extra two weeks to enter achievement data manually for the 2013/14 dementia DES, after officials accepted the original deadline was 'too short'.

One in five practices in England were unable to enter their data by the original 2 June deadline, and now have until 16 June to do so.

All GP practices in England will now have to wait until at least mid-July for payments originally expected to be made at the end of June. The payments are worth £3,300 to an average practice, and £21m across England.

The extended data deadline is the latest in a series of problems with the Care Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) system.

The Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which runs the CQRS, said the extension would push back review periods, resulting in payments for the enhanced service for all practices being delayed until July.

GP practices must manually update the CQRS with the data, or risk not receiving any payments for their dementia DES work. A HSCIC bulletin said: ‘If a GP practice does not submit data then an achievement value of "0" will be assumed and no payment will be generated.’

HSCIC reported that one in five practices had yet to enter their data. A spokeswoman said: ‘We have decided to extend the deadline. We now recognise that 2 June might be too short a deadline for some practices.'

A deadline for area teams to review practices' data has been pushed back to 27 June.

The HSCIC spokeswoman added: ‘We will communicate this to all GP practices and payments will be made in July 2014. We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused.’

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