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Seniority payments

How do I know which GP(s) or year(s) the overall negative adjustment described in the email relates to?

Please raise a request via the online form to ask for a further detailed breakdown of which GP(s) and year(s) the overall negative adjustment relates to.

PCSE will email this information to you. 

What is the current situation regarding seniority payments?

The Seniority payments scheme ended on 31 March 2020. Any new applications for seniority ceased as of 1 April 2014. Only GP Partners who previously qualified remained in receipt of these payments, which were subject to an annual reduction.

The payments were calculated on a doctor’s NHS Reckonable Service, and were included on the practice's quarter end payment in June, September, December and March.

The doctors annual estimated income was used to calculate whether they qualified for payments in full, whether they got these payments abated by 60% or if they didn't qualify for payments at all.

If PCSE did not receive an updated Estimate of Profit Pay/Contributions for all GP Partners from a practice, the seniority payment may have been affected. If a doctor had drawn their pension, an estimate should still have been provided for seniority purposes only.

What is an overall positive adjustment?

Positive payments may consist of both positive and negative adjustments, which combine to make an overall positive payment. This could include a combination of positive/negative adjustments for individual GPs for any of the individual years for 17/18, 18/19 or 19/20. 

What are these adjustments in relation to?

NHS England is undertaking a Seniority payment reconciliation and as part of this work, PCSE has made the relevant adjustments to practices.

Seniority payments were made to Principal GPs in recognition of their years of NHS reckonable service. The scheme closed to new applicants on 1 April 2014 and the last payments were made at the end of March 2020. 

Seniority was paid ‘on account’ and then adjustments made when the Final Seniority Factor (FSF) is published (usually 3 years later). The 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 Final Seniority Factors (FSF) have been published and are available to view here.

What is an overall negative adjustment?

Negative adjustments may consist of both positive and negative adjustments, which combine to make an overall negative payment. This could include a combination of positive/negative adjustments for individual GPs for any of the individual years for 17/18, 18/19 or 19/20. 

This adjustment has placed our practice into financial hardship. Who can we speak to?

We have taken steps to minimise the financial impact on practices with overall negative adjustments. 

All GP practices where there is an overall negative adjustment has an option to request a re-payment plan. 

The practice must make a request for this by submitting a query via the online GP Payments enquiry form - select ‘GP Payments' and ‘Seniority Payments’ as the query type by 5pm on 23 April 2024. At the beginning of the request please include “Request for Repayment Plan” in the body of the message. 

Please do not contact our customer support centre as they will only direct you to submit requests through the online form. 

Where a request has been received into PCSE through this channel by the stated date/time, the total overall negative adjustment will be taken in 10 equal monthly instalments, starting in June 2024 and run through to March 2025.The GP Payments team will acknowledge the request and respond back to the practice to confirm by 3 May 2024. 

These GP adjustments relate to a closed practice which has now merged with my practice, what should I do?

Practices are advised to refer to their merger agreements if guidance is needed on treatment of any payments or adjustments.

The GP has left/retired/deceased. Is the adjustment still valid?

Yes. Seniority adjustments are processed against a GP Practice for an individual who was a GP Partner at the time of the employment. Practices should refer to their partnership agreements on how these monies should be handled.

How has my adjustment been calculated?

The financial years 2017/18 2018/19 and 2019/20 have been calculated using information from NHAIS, including but not limited to:

  • GMC number of GP
  • Number of years qualified for payment
  • The quarter that the Anniversary occurs (years increased by 1)
  • The payment already made on account based upon your estimated pensionable pay
  • The actual pensionable profit figure as declared for the year end certificate for that year
  • The practice for the GP at the time the payment was made

For example: A GP with an anniversary date of 4 February will see their payments increase (in line with the published seniority rates) each year on this date. Therefore, a GP with 25 years reckonable service on 1 April 2017 will see this increasing to 26 years on 4 February 2018. This means that for 17/18 anything from 1 April 2017 to 3 February 2018 will be calculated at the 25 year rate and then from 4 February 2018 to 31 March 2018 it will then be calculated at the 26 years rate. 

I don’t agree with the amount of adjustment, what do I need to do to escalate / challenge this?

You will need to raise a case via the online form selecting ‘GP Payments' and ‘Seniority Payments’ as the query type. To allow PCSE to investigate your query, please ensure that you provide a detailed explanation of your query and the PCSE Payments team will respond. 

These adjustments were first due to be made in November. Why have they been delayed?

Due to the complexities of the data further validation and analysis needed to be made. Additional checks have since been put in place and we are confident to commence processing adjustments for the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

Can I be confident that the adjustments calculated are now accurate?

Yes, PCSE and NHS England are confident that, whilst in some cases the amounts previously shared will be different, following rigorous testing and validation, the revised calculations are accurate.

Why has it taken so long for these payments to be identified and why haven’t they been calculated annually?

Seniority adjustments are made following publication of the "final seniority factor" (FSF) that enables any adjustments to be made to estimates submitted by practices. The FSF is usually published 12-18 months after payment has been made "on account", which automatically creates a delay to any adjustments that need to be made. It is clear that some adjustments were processed at the time, whilst others were not. 

There has been a complex information gathering exercise to analyse the data required to accurately identify any adjustments required for practices, and as the Seniority scheme itself has now finished we are working through a retrospective programme to identify and make adjustments to close the scheme off.

Will there be any additional payments/deductions made to my practice for 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years?

For a small number of GPs, some of the data does require further investigation. This may result in additional adjustments being made as further data becomes available. Where this is applicable to your practice, we will be in touch prior to any adjustments being made.

When will seniority adjustments before 2017/18 be made?

Calculations are yet to be finalised for 2013/14 to 2016/2017 financial years. We will be in touch with more information when this work is complete.