The Secret Diary of a Practice Manager Part 15

Like many practice managers the first weekend in April (just after the end of the QOF year)  you are able to breathe a sigh of relief and hope that everything has been reported on and claimed for in the correct manner.  It has been an exhausting period and has not been made any easier by the many changes to the claiming and signing off processes.

Instead of a couple of claims this year it has needed close to 10 separate claims, more than tripling the work and making the possibility of an error all the greater.

The cynic in me thinks that the more difficult the procedure is made the easier it will be for us to under claim and thus save the NHS money. Of course the opposite could happen and that we over claim all be it in error!!

A few days before the year end we were not advised that CQRS was not working and that the end of year QOF signing off was at risk.  It was only after a couple of attempts that I phoned to query my problem.

I was then told that they were aware of a software glitch and were working with the supplier in America.  Wonderful I thought, why had we not been all notified and how long would it take to rectify.  It was thought that the sheer numbers of people trying to access CQRS had meant that it could not cope. Add to that the time difference in liaising with America and so no idea of a fix date could be given.

It is not rocket science that at the end of the QOF year it is going to be heavily used and so some resilience should have been put in.   As it happens a couple of days before the due date it had been repaired and so the sign offs could be completed.

However I have heard from others that they simply could not access the system and on Friday the 4th April some like myself had done the final declaration whereas others could not access the site.

It did not help in our case that we had a computer upgrade on the 24th March 2014 that bought its own problems.  Not a good time to have done it but it’s done now.

We still have some applications not working on some computers but we are getting there.

In my last blog I mentioned an issue over trying to remove a patient and the fact I had put in a complaint to the Health Authority.  I am pleased to say that I received a genuine apology and an assurance that the person I spoke to had been reprimanded.  Whilst I do not like to get anyone into trouble we have a difficult enough job without others making it harder.

On Friday I received in the post a letter from the Royal College of General Practioners, recognising the practice manager’s role in the current NHS and the pressures we are all under.   I assume that all practice managers were sent this and it goes to show how we are valued within the system.

Well what can we look forward to in our role for 2014/5. More of the same, oh heck pass me the valium.


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