Practice denied £60,000 in funding dispute

A GP practice in London believes it has lost out on £60,000 because of a PCT blunder and may never recoup the lost funding.

Funding: dispute over £60,000 claim for superannuation
Funding: dispute over £60,000 claim for superannuation

Dr Brian Golden, a partner at Ravenscroft Medical Centre in Golders Green Road, London, has been in a battle with NHS Barnet since March 2009 to obtain funding for superannuation on PMS growth monies he claims his practice is owed.

The PCT is refusing to give the practice the £520 a month recurring since April 2004 because the practice did not return a claim form in time. However, the practice says it never received the form.

Although the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has accepted that the practice did not receive the claim form, NHS Barnet is still refusing to pay up. Last month the BMA said that it could not take any further action after Dr Golden took the matter to health secretary Andrew Lansley and the High Court after the NHSLA said it could not force the PCT to pay.

Dr Golden said: ‘It is not a trivial amount. It is £520 a month, used to pay part of the employers' superannuation for three salaried GPs.

‘The PCT knew which practices would be eligible for the funding so we thought we were getting the money and we had no reason to think that we would be getting a claim form. It was only when I called the PCT to ask when we would be getting the money, that I found out about the claim form. They said we would not be getting the money as we had not sent back the claim form.

‘The NHSLA said to us in 2010 that it did not have the jurisdiction to order the PCT to pay the money and so we were sent on a wild goose chase for three months to find out who did have the jurisdiction. Because of this it meant we were out of time for a judicial review.’

Dr Golden failed in his bid for a judicial review of the NHSLA’s decision not to order the PCT to pay up. This was because his application was not within the three-month time limit of the NHSLA’s decision not to take action against NHS Barnet. Dr Golden was ordered to pay £1,750 towards the NHSLA’s legal fees.

In a letter to Dr Golden last month, the BMA’s senior policy executive said it had raised concerns with NHSLA, but warned: 'We do not believe that taking this any further with them will lead to a positive outcome.'

A spokeswoman for NHS Barnet said it considers the matter closed. A NHSLA spokesman said it was unable to comment at the time of going to press.

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