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A cunning PCRS plan?

The ritual involved in claiming is a right royal pain in the ass and I’ll warrant some doctors haven’t the energy to claim their entitlements — is this the cunning plan of the PCRS?

Doctors have to complete form ALF/1 signed by locum for annual leave. Next, they have to complete another ALF/1 for study leave and enclose paper records of attendance at educational meetings. For medical indemnity, a receipt from the insurer is required. All of this mountain of paper has to be sent to the local primary care unit, where a poor unfortunate has to bean-count all the forms. If every ‘i’ has been dotted and every ‘t’ crossed correctly, the forms are returned to the GP, who then has to forward them to the PCRS for eventual payment.

Why doesn’t the PCRS do us all a favour and cut out this codology? They could write to every contracting doctor in, say, September, as follows:

Dear Dr X,

You have a panel of 500 (for example) patients. I hope you had a good holiday, if you had one at all and if your locum turned up. Whether you took or got holidays or not, you are entitled to 20 days’ annual leave and I enclose due payment of xxx. I know it is a pittance, but you are welcome to it.

You are entitled to 10 days’ study leave. No need to bother with all those dusty attendance certs, since you have satisfied the CPD requirements of the Medical Council and have your 50 points. I enclose due payment for 10 days.

I know you are insured with xxx, as always. You would be mad not to. With a panel of 500, you are entitled to a refund of xxx and I enclose that amount. Don’t spend it all in the one shop!


Is this likely to happen? Hardly! Just look at the amount of box-ticking and form-filling involved with diabetes cycle of care and podiatry referral, asthma cycle of care, weighing children, CAMHS referral… We’re all NHS-bound.

Dr Mel Gilmartin,

Douglas West,


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