Primary Care Support England

Primary Care Support England (PCSE) Stakeholder bulletin; July 2016


Performers Lists Applications

PCSE is responsible for managing entry to the Performers Lists for Medical, Dental and Ophthalmic performers on behalf of NHS England. As we approach the busiest time of year for applications, a quick reference guide to the process has been produced for trainees applying to join a list, including the timelines they need to be aware of. Routine trainee applications take approximately 12 weeks to process from start to finish.  If there are any issues with the pre-admission checks, the process will take longer.

With these timescales in mind, we encourage applicants to submit their application form and supporting information required as soon as possible, to help prevent any delays in starting new roles.


Supplies update

Most practices are now using the PCSE portal to order their NHS supplies. The majority of orders (around 80%) continue to be delivered on or before their expected delivery date.

The exceptions are orders where we’re awaiting stock. We‘re reviewing the end-to-end supply chain with NHS England to address any stock availability issues, and will contact practices regarding out of stock items, to offer alternatives or cancel the orders if necessary.

Sterile supplies

There was initially a larger volume of orders for sterile supplies (syringes, needles and vacutainers.) Whilst we worked to obtain additional stock from preferred suppliers, NHS England agreed that, in specific parts of the country where stocks were limited, and only where absolutely necessary, practices could temporarily order these items directly from alternative suppliers.  These items are now available to order nationally from the PCSE portal, and the temporary arrangement to order from alternative suppliers will end on 22 July 2016.  NHS England cannot approve invoices dated post 22 July 2016 for sterile products that can be found on the PCSE portal.

New portal users

At the end of June, more than 400 practices, who weren’t on our database, have been contacted and registered on the portal so that they can now order supplies online.  Since the start of July, we’ve collected the contact details of an additional 2724 practices we didn’t have details for.  We’re in the process of contacting these practices to register them on the portal.


Medical records movement update

The new Medical Records Movement pilot continues in West Yorkshire, where individually bagged and labelled records are being collected from practices and delivered directly to their end destination.

In order to ensure that information and feedback from this pilot is carefully reviewed and considered, the decision was taken to extend the pilot. This additional time will help ensure the service is proven safe and effective, and delivers the expected benefits without any service disruption. We’re expecting to start providing the service nationally in the autumn. Detailed updates will be provided to practices on how and when the new service will be rolled out.

Currently outside of West Yorkshire, records are being processed at a central PCSE office. We’re making continuous enhancements to this interim service.  In June, we increased the number of staff working in our central processing centre, which has improved our processing speed and increased the number of records processed each day. At this point in time, records are being processed within eight days of receipt into the centre. We’re also working with CitySprint to increase the capacity to deliver the records. Larger CitySprint vans have recently been introduced on 65% of routes.

Whilst the majority of practices nationally now have a regular medical records collection and delivery service, we recognise that practices in certain areas have not been receiving the level of service they can expect.  We’re working closely with the relevant CitySprint Service Centres to resolve the immediate issues, and to look at the longer-term improvements needed, which may include changing and / or putting on additional routes in certain areas.


Ophthalmic payments update

The ophthalmic payments process has seen an increase in the number of enquiries and issues from opticians in certain parts of the country over the last few months.  This is mainly as a result of moving from many diverse ways of processing payments, to a more standardised approach. Additional resource has been put in place to ensure all queries and any issues can be dealt with in a timely manner, and we’re working with key stakeholders, including LOCSU, to continue to refine and improve the service. As at the 13 July, all customers with outstanding queries have been contacted.

Moving forwards, we’re working on a new service which will include redesigned GOS Forms to enable them to be scanned, and an online portal that will allow claims to be more easily submitted, reviewed and paid.

The Ophthalmic User Group has been heavily involved in the GOS Forms redesign process, and we’ve received very positive feedback. The OFNC (Ophthalmic Fees Negotiating Committee) has approved the redesigned forms, pending some minor changes. The next step is for NHS England to arrange for formal sign-off by the Forms Committee.

We’re currently agreeing the approach for how the new forms will be rolled out, and once agreed, detailed updates will be provided to our service users.


Screening update

NHS Breast Screening Units will take over responsibility for the breast screening administration functions currently provide by PCSE when the Breast Screening Select (BS-S) system goes live. This is scheduled to be by 1 August 2016. The BS-S implementation team are communicating with BSUs and other stakeholders to manage the transitions.  If you’d like to know more, please contact:

PCSE will continue to deliver the cervical screening administration support service. As part of our plans for the future, we’ll introduce a modernised service, which will include an online portal to access patient prior notification lists and next scheduled screening dates. Prior to introducing the new service, we’re moving all printing of cervical screening letters to a single purpose-built, state of the art print facility in Mansfield, which complies with all relevant legislation governing the handling of sensitive data. Printing work will move to Mansfield as and when a local PCSE office closes.


PCSE Customer Support Centre update

Calls into the Support Centre continue to be answered promptly (currently 90% of calls are answered within 30 seconds.)  When practices call the Support Centre, they’ll be asked to select from a menu, which will direct their call to the correct specialist team.  If for any reason the agent who takes the call is unable to provide an immediate answer to the query, the call will be transferred to a member of the team who can help, or the agent will call the practice back directly once they have a response.

Emails sent to are also routed to the correct team. Please put the service you are contacting us about in the Email Subject Line to help us direct your query as quickly and efficiently as possible.  We’re sorry that in some cases customers have not received a swift response to email queries. We’re working hard to address this and improve response times.

Relocating services delivered by local PCSE offices in July and August

Services are currently delivered from a range of local PCSE offices. By 2017, the Customer Support Centre will be the main point of contact for all queries on all PCSE services.

As part of these plans, we’re relocating the services delivered by a number of our local offices this July and August.  On 21 July, services will relocate from our Surbiton and former NHS SBS Derby, Ferndown and Gloucester offices. On 18 August, services will relocate from our Bristol, Darlington and Hull offices. We’ll write out to service users of these offices to provide the new contact details to use.

A timetable showing when contact will move from each of our local offices to the Customer Support Centre is on our website, along with information on current contact details to use.


Please share this update with your colleagues.



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