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PCSE online: A new dawn – by Paula the PM

by in Funny, GP Practice Management

I’m perennially a glass-half-full kinda girl. Having been in practice for more years than I care to remember, there are times when I really do wonder why I’m always so upbeat. Many years of experience should really have knocked that optimism out of me. But the sun is shining, the birds are singing – so what could possibly go wrong?

True to my nature, I had high hopes, with the amazing new technology that’s available now, that PCSE Online would be the absolute bee’s knees.

They’ve been talking about it for years; it’s been in development for years – so it must be brilliant, right? And I was so excited to see the end of Open Exeter.

However, it appears that this is one of those times when my optimism may be unfounded.

I sat (politely) through a webinar, I even read the lovely presentations. Yet all of that effort has been no help whatsoever.

The potential is massive but as usual they didn’t ask a PM what they wanted it to do, and how. Can I see what I need to? The answer would have to be a resounding ‘NO’.

“I know,” I say to myself, “I’ll phone the helpline.”

I wanted to know what I need to do to see my statements; after all, it’s coming up to that time of the month.

After ages on hold – still smiling, of course – I finally get through to the helpline. At least I could get on with some much-needed filing while I was waiting.

Eventually, I talk to the lovely call handler. They were ever so keen to help, but… oh no, they can’t give me any actual help; they’ll make a note of my call, though, and someone will get back to me a decade from next November. I couldn’t help it; I rolled my eyes, repeatedly. I know I shouldn’t and I tell my teen not to, but it really was starting to get through to me.

After talking to my PM colleagues, it seems that I can’t access what I need to initially because I need to give myself the ‘rights’ first. Surely they know I’m a PM; why not give me access to the things I need straight away? Obviously, that would be far too simple.

At last, having solved my access rights problem, I feel sure it will now be all plain sailing. I take a deep breath and even force another smile… Nope, wrong again!

In a similar fashion to all the various incarnations of NHS systems that have gone before it, it’s totally lacking in the things I need.

What do I want to see? How much we’ll be paid and what it relates to. I know it sounds like it shouldn’t be too much to hope for, but apparently it is. I can’t see my statements – well, not the detail anyway. I’m told it should be there, but perhaps I’m too daft to find it? My smile is wearing thin. In fact, my jaws are clenching.

My GPs’ pensions have gone AWOL. Anyone know where PCSE might find them? My global sum seems to have gone adrift. But, never fear, a colleague tells me that they’ve been paid their QOF again, so someone’s quids in. Let’s not mention the charge they’ll apparently make because my PPA claim was late – except it wasn’t.

And don’t even ask me about adding new users. Mind you, if they can’t see anything useful or accurate, there’s no point in me adding them anyway.

Now, with my perennial smile an actual, full-on grimace, I’m desperate to go back to Open Exeter, but, you’ve guessed it… Rather than leave us with access to both until the teething problems have been ironed out, they’ve just removed all the legacy access and thrown it onto PCSE online.

I don’t doubt that someone somewhere has been working reeeeallllllyyyyyy hard on it; they always are. It’s just that, at the moment, it’s functionally useless to me. So, I’ll have to wait and see what the amount is that hits the bank and see if I can hazard a guess as to what we might, or might not, have been paid. Let’s hope it covers the salaries!

Anyone any good with a spreadsheet?

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Paula the PM

Paula the PM

Local Practice Manager

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34 Responses to “PCSE online: A new dawn – by Paula the PM”
  1. Avatar
    Lyndsey Webber Says:

    I totally share your pain – and glad it isn’t ‘just me!’ Left utterly confused by what I cant see and information I cant access! thanks PCSE!

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      It’s one of those times I wish no-one was in the same boat. I really was hoping it was just me……

      Reply

  2. Avatar
    Julie Jackson Says:

    Have experienced the same issue. The migrated statements from Open Exeter are of no help as there is no breakdown of the total sum being paid. I am hoping that the statement due for the end of June will have a breakdown as per the way statements used to appear on Open Exeter but I am not holding my breath.

    PCSE is a faceless organisation whose sole purpose is to tip Practice Managers over the edge of a cliff yet, if they want something from you, they are on you straight away. The call handlers may be polite and/or pleasant but they are of no use; they can’t even give you definitive time frames for your issue to be managed within.

    In any other commercial business we would have torn up their contract!

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    Dawn Says:

    great read. having same issues, payments made, no info available, Partners and salaried superann not paid and the list goes on ………….. agree why not run the 2 systems together until all problems sorted.
    if all practices are having the same isssues i would not like to be at the end pf the PCSE helpline at the moment. .

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      I’ve local colleagues who’ve been paid the Global Sum although it’s not on the statement. Wishing us all luck tying it up!

      Reply

  4. Avatar
    Caron Tremaine-Tucker Says:

    Hi Paula,

    Your description of what has happened to you is exactly the same as some of the problems I have faced, but there is much more, when one does manage to see the pension statements and forecasts they are wrong. I have sent the pension forecasts to them 4 times now and asked them to copy exactly as it is, but it still shows up on the on-line system as wrong. It terrifies me as a managing partner that they are getting my pension completely wrong or missing it off altogether and when doing this to mine, they are also doing the same to 1000’s of GP’s :-(. They keep taking away admin rights, even though being a PM!!?

    I am not sure who in their wisdom with all the previous problems thought it a good idea to allow them to take on all of this, especially the financial element, it must be someone that has never dealt with practice finances or anything else to do with practices before.
    If anything is going to break the NHS it is going to be this, I can see a mass walk out of Practice managers.

    I am normally positive and try as you do to see glass half full, but I am starting to feel broken and its mainly down to this new on-line system, not even Covid made me feel this way.
    What can we do about it? I have reported to our local LMC and our PCN, but not sure what they are able to do about the mess.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      That is worrying- I think lots of
      GP’s don’t do much with their pensions, so are relying on their accountants picking anything up.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        Caron Tremaine-Tucker Says:

        I received a reply from them today, which included one correct item and one completely wrong something, I did not even ask about and now they want to opt out of the pension scheme the wrong doctor.
        They continually say try this link, go to that link to report, but they are close to useless.
        It is totally unacceptable, I feel like crying, not sure how many more times I can send through the same information about the same problems and I am only just starting on some of the issues 🙁

        Reply

  5. Avatar
    Matthew Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.
    PCSE’s (in)ability to provide any actual help is laughable, or it would be if it didn’t make me feel so dementedly frustrated. All they seem to do is take some details of the problem (badly) and then you eventually get some sort of written response (that doesn’t include any of the details of your original issue so you have no idea which complaint it is actually a response to) from an email you can’t reply to, and then you have to submit another form on the portal to explain that it hasn’t actually resolved your query.
    The Financial Statements on the new PCSE portal are a joke – they look like they’ve been formatted by a 5-year old. Full of gaps, blank lines and information that doesn’t match up. For instance on the pension entries – they don’t appear next to the name of any GP. It is really unacceptable. I no longer know how to find the essential information that I’ve been getting successfully from Open Exeter for a decade. In all honesty I wasn’t a fan of Open Exeter but by comparison with this debacle I know think it was the best thing ever.
    The most significant question is what can we all do to achieve some improvements in the new system, seeing as we are going to have to put up with it we might as well try and make it better? I don’t have much of an idea, although I think enlisting the help of our LMC might be a good start.

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    Catherine Says:

    I find myself in exactly the same situation and it’s so frustrating. I did give myself the rights to access the GP statements but still no luck. You try and contact support via email as suggested and it tool 48 hours to be advised that they would contact me asap. I am still waiting 5 days later. As soon as I heard that Open Exeter would be no more and that PCSE would be the new way to access GP payments, I felt a real sense of dread, and I was right. All this causes unnecessary stress to an already very stressful job.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      I think you might be waiting some time. Several PM’s I know were told 40 days. I wonder if that’s a contractual service standard???

      Reply

  7. Avatar
    Jayne Spouse Says:

    Im glad it is not just me. We to are being charged for late PPA claims and like you it wasnt and we have the proof. I have spoken to PCSE about this and they informed me that quite a few surgeries have received the same message.

    Not looking good !!

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      I’m hoping it’s so spectacularly bad that they decide to switch back to
      OE until it’s sorted!

      Reply

  8. Avatar
    Jeanette Says:

    Feel your pain..

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      I think there are plenty of us in the same boat. I don’t know anyone with a correct statement so far.

      Reply

  9. Avatar
    Peter Maynard Says:

    Let’s just imagine the meeting at NHS Futures, or some such high falutin’ ideas lab:
    NHS Minion 1: “So how have PCSE done with all the stuff that they’ve been given so far?”
    NHS Minion 2: “Uh, really crap actually. They lose most of the things they get sent, lose them again when they’ve been resent, and have a support function that’s about as much use as a chocolate teapot”
    NHS Minion 1: “Ah, OK. I think I know how we can sort all that out.”
    NHS Minion 2: “Really. You’re so clever. What should we do?”
    NHS MInion 1: “We’ll give them responsibility for all of the funding to and claims by primary care. It’ll work brilliantly.”
    NHS Minion 2: “That’s such blue sky thinking, I feel positively cloud like. You really do earn that ginormous salary you’re paid. And of course, we’ve been so hot with contract management for PCSE, that if the smallest little thing goes wrong (which of course it won’t), then we can be assured that it will be put right immediately.”
    NHS MInion 1: “Right, item 2 on today’s agenda: How to get a quart out of a pint pot. Well that should be relatively easy…………”

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    Rachel Says:

    Same for us. I felt quite encouraged that I could download our statement but we couldn’t match it to what we were paid. Then on closer inspection that had completely missed off one of our GPs and not taken the pension contributions. We’ve got to put pressure on somehow to get this sorted.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      The helpline must be deluged with queries, there must surely be a point where they say, “hang on, something is clearly not right here”,? Or is that too much to hope for?

      Reply

  11. Avatar
    Amanda Says:

    Same here – half of my GPs dont appear on the monthly PMS statement so no pension contributions taken off for them. Reported this but not heard back so far……………..

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    Lynn Batley Says:

    I feel your pain – we are all in the same boat – hope it doesnt capsize!

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    Phillippa Says:

    great article. Its not like we could not have predicted this though. They managed to get 50% of our GP’s superannuation collected so I suppose I should be grateful for something
    When have the PCSE managed to get anything right or actually provide something that is fit for purpose. How do they keep getting given contracts is beyond me.
    Imagine the kind of portal we would have if this contract had been given to a company like AccuRx…..who ask questions, create something and continue to ask questions……..system not always perfect but is managed by humans who respond

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      Nope, everything that they’ve touched so far has been absolutely stellar. This kind of issue has just NEVER cropped up before……….

      Reply

  14. Avatar
    David Says:

    I made sure I downloaded all PDF’s of all historical Exeter statements. There was no way I was trusting PCSE to present this information well in the future!

    I am yet to receive my first ‘big’ monthly statement with GP pension etc. The migrated statements are a completely dogs dinner!! Feeling pretty nervous thus far!!

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      I think your nerves may be justified.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        David Says:

        To be fair, the latest Drugs statement has come through, and it seems to be a lot better presented than the historical / migrated statements are. So it might just be the retrospective statements that look so messy!

        Reply

  15. Avatar
    Will Menzies Says:

    Par for the course with PCSE. I have very low expectations of them and they never disappoint.

    I had an interminable call with them today. The recorded message said “Choose your option carefully as the staff are trained to deal with queries for that option”. Reality: Fraid not, the call operator simply created an online query using PCSE’s own website. Frankly, this lot are not fit for purpose. I get NO answers from the complaints team either. If I failed to respond to a complaint, NHSE would be on me in a shot….

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Paula the PM Says:

      Yes, I think that’s the experience of most of the PM’s I know who’ve raised a query. Not holding my breath on the timescales to get a reply.

      Reply

  16. Avatar
    Raana Jabbar Says:

    All these helpful people wanting to make our lives easier by changing everything all the time are actually making physically ill.
    I listening to the PCSE lady right now as she directs me to the website and the dumb form arrrrgghhhh

    Reply

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