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PCT changes rent and rate payments

In earlier blogs, I wrote about the problems practices were having with their cash flow, largely due to PCTs making payments later than ever, and making more errors than ever before. I have had a number of calls over the last week or so from GPs telling me that they have not had sufficient drawings to pay their tax in full due to cash flow problems in the practice.

Against this backdrop, I visited a practice yesterday and it showed me a letter it had just received from NHS North Central London (NCL). This seems to have gone to all GPs in its patch. In the past, many practices have their rent and rates paid directly from the PCT to the landlord and the local authority. This saves not only the hassle of making the payment and applying for the reimbursement, but also the cash flow effect of the time difference between making the paying and receiving the refund.

However, the letter I referred to above says that in future, practices would have to pay the rent and the rates and the practice would have to obtain a receipt before an application can be made to NCL for reimbursement.

Anyone who follows what is happening with GPs knows that their finances are being hit and about to be hit harder. Why would NCL change a system that has worked well for decades at such a sensitive time? It is not necessary, and the consequence is going to be a major hit on GPs cash flow.

Don’t do it!

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