This page will provide up-to-date and relevant information to ensure that you are aware of changes being introduced that will impact on the services you deliver along with guidance on how to process claims appropriately during this pandemic.
Payments to Contractors & COVID-19
NHS National Service Scotland (NSS) Practitioner & Counter Fraud Services (P&CFS) have robust resilient plans in place to deliver business priorities.
We have been rehearsing these and we are prepared to enact our resilience plans at the required stages over the coming months where required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Payments to all primary care contractors, including General Medical Practices, Community Pharmacies, General Dentists and Optometrists, remains the top priority at the moment and we have paid or expect to pay all contractors the payment due in March 2020 with no issue. As the UKG and Scottish Government directions evolve, P&CFS Management and Resilience Teams will implement the various protocols available to us. This will ensure all contractor streams have timely and appropriate payments in line with SG guidance.
Actions agreed by P&CFS Senior Management Team so far include:
- Re-prioritisation of workload across P&CFS to ensure contractor payments remains our priority.
- Ongoing review with a clear decision on ‘estimate’ payments to be made when necessary. This may be based on contractors and NHS Board ability to submit claims to P&CFS and/or on P&CFS teams’ ability to process payments to contractors.
- Estimate payment files are being readied. These are designed to keep the normal level of income based on known data and historical trends/values.
- Re-testing current resilience payment routes to ensure payments can be processed through to final bank accounts, including in the event of system availability issues.
- Increasing the number of laptop users in order to be able to respond to NSS and government advice on home working. This will happen at various stages but will always take into account which roles can be accommodated. We are exploring options but we recognise that not every piece of work can be done from home.
- Agreement that if some services are reduced or stopped, staff may be asked to support work in different areas which support our business priorities. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as the situation develops.
As you will be aware, the Scottish Government has given their assurance that general medical practices will not suffer financial detriment as a result of this COVID epidemic and we will work with Scottish Government and NHS Boards on the detail of this as direction is given.
We know that the situation is changing rapidly and that staff throughout the NHS and their families will be affected in different ways. Like everyone we are promoting best practice on hygiene, adopting working from home, in-office distancing and travel will be restricted to only if absolutely necessary.
If you are unable to contact your usual contractor payments lead we have set up a mailbox which we will monitor daily for inquiries:
Patient Registration & Records Services & COVID-19
With increasing restrictions by UK and Scottish Governments it will come as no surprise that we too are increasingly affected in terms of staffing levels and our ability to provide our full range of services relating to patient registration and the transfer of medical records.
Therefore, we are putting in measures to ensure that we can prioritise our services to GP Practices and our key areas will be:
- Processing PARTNERS transactions to ensure patients are registered and their details are up to date on CHI
- Patient assignments (please note the Edinburgh office has the greatest number of assignments but is currently working to clear this backlog – this means restricted practices in their region will be receiving multiple assignments over a shorter period of time than usual
- Transferring electronic medical records
We have taken the decision to temporarily stop paper record transfers with effect from Wednesday 25th March and you will no longer receive a weekly collection or delivery until we can re-start this service.
We are currently looking at providing our staff with the capability to work from home to deliver our 3 priorities and at the moment we will not have the ability to move telephony to people’s homes so from close on Friday 27th March we ask that if you have any queries or require some support please email one of the following and we will get the right person to email you back.
All enquiries Nss.firstname.lastname@example.org
All enquiries NSS.PSDEdinburgh@nhs.net
All enquiries: email@example.com
This will be the same for patients and NHS Boards who are looking for any support from us and we will put a message on the voicemail to send an email and not leave a message as it may be several weeks before a message is picked up.
We hope everyone remains safe and we will do everything we can to support GP Practices at this time.