Locum agency owed GPs and nurses over £350,000 when it went into administration

GPs and nurses were owed more than £350,000 by locum agency Primary Care People when it went into administration last month, a statement from a new company that bought the agency reveals.

A report by the company's administrators FRP Advisory also shows that the RCGP was among creditors owed money when Primary Care People went into administration. The college was owed more than £33,000 by the locum agency, which has previously sponsored an awards scheme.

Some GPs say they remain out of pocket by up to five-figure sums, although GPonline understands that more than £180,000 in payments to locums have been made since Primary Care People was bought by PCP International Ltd on 11 July.

However, although the new company has reiterated its pledge to pay all outstanding fees to locums, it remains unclear when all GPs will be paid in full.

Locum fees

As part of the buyout deal, McGinley Group - whose CEO Colm McGinley controls PCP International Ltd - agreed to pay 'a sum capped at £350,000 to the GPs/nurses in respect of their arrears by 31 August 2017'.

PCP International said this week that 'the amount of liability owed to GPs and nurses exceeds the £350,000 cited by the administrators and committed to by the McGinley Group'.

The company said this week that £350,000 will be paid out by 31 August as planned under the buyout deal, and that any further fees owed to GPs would be 'settled based on profits and revenue moving forward'.

It added that payments to GPs who continue to carry out work for the company would be 'prioritised', and a spokesman told GPonline that GPs were being paid as normal for current work - with payment coming the week after work was completed.

GP Survival chair Dr Matt Mayer said it was 'galling' for GPs who had carried out work months ago to face uncertainty over when they would be paid.

'I will continue to chase this money, and will be liaising with [PCP International Ltd] and the McGinley Group to demand all GPs are paid back, in full, as quickly as possible,' he said.

Administration

The FRP Advisory administrators' proposals document published on 17 July reveals that a total of almost £2.3m was owed to creditors by Primary Care People, although the bulk of this does not appear to relate to fees owed to locums.

A statement released this week by PCP International Ltd said: 'As previously stated, Evolve Resource Solutions T/A Primary Care People (PCP) went into administration on 3 July 2017 due to external factors that effected [sic] our ability to trade.

'The assets of our business as well as the liability of the payments owed to GPs and Nurses (up to value £350,000), was purchased by the McGinley Group.

'The McGinley Group have no legal liability to support the GP and Nurse payments, however having recognised the potential and strength of the PCP brand, they agreed to reconcile these outstanding payments to ensure the future of our business.

'This brand acquisition has allowed us to honour our commitment to pay the amount of £350,000 to GPs and Nurses by 31st August 2017 as agreed with the administrators.

'The McGinley Group were the only company willing to respect and commit to these outstanding payments within this specified time-frame. This allows us to steadily clear the back-log that we are faced with and take the take the necessary steps to move forward.

'It is apparent that the amount of liability owed to GPs and nurses exceeds the £350,000 cited by the administrators and committed to by the McGinley Group. On no account will we be ignoring these outstanding payments; on the contrary, these will be settled based on profits and revenue moving forward.

'Payments to GPs and nurses who currently work for the business will be prioritised whilst we work with the McGinley Group to get back up on our feet.

'At this stage, we would like to thank our loyal candidates for their patience and understanding whilst we make every effort to reconcile outstanding payments.

'There’s no doubt that this has been a very challenging time for us all but there is a positive outcome at the end which everyone is committed to working towards and we appreciate your support during this time.'

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