Capita’s services continue to decline

The BMA has pledged to support GPs who take legal action to rectify underpayments and errors resulting from Capita’s primary care support services

BMA GPs committee chair Richard Vautrey has written to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens describing the lack of improvement in the shortcomings with PCSE (Primary Care Services England) as ‘completely unacceptable’.

The letter follows on from a BMA survey of almost 750 GP practices carried out in December which has revealed that many aspects of PCSE have either not improved or worsened since a previous survey in October 2016.

As a result, Dr Vautrey has said the association has no choice but to support practices and GPs seeking legal redress, and has further called on NHS England to carry out a ‘transparent and comprehensive review’ of all PCSE functions.

He said: “The BMA has engaged with NHS England to resolve these issues for more than two years, despite this the failures of the service continue to have a major impact on practices, practitioners and patients. The reality is that rather than making progress, the system for resolving issues, both directly between practices or GPs and PCSE, and when escalated through the BMA to NHS England, has significantly slowed down over the last two months.

“We are also concerned with the severe delays and insufficient service experienced by those seeking compensation for loss of earnings owing to the failings of PCSE.

“This situation is completely unacceptable. As a result of the lack of improvement in the service delivery of PCSE we are now left with no option but to support practices and individual doctors in taking legal routes to seek resolution.”

A service providing back-office support to GP surgeries, including transfer of patient records and staff pay, PCSE has been operated by Capita since 2015.

The BMA previously wrote to Mr Stevens last November to warn of ‘significant ongoing issues’ with PCSE services such as GP payment and pension deductions and transfer of patient records.

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Since then, the BMA survey of GP practices found continuing or worsening problems with PCSE.

Further results from the survey showed that while 67% of practices said that they had received all supplies ordered, this figure falls below the 73% reporting this in the 2016 survey.

The BMA approached Capita for comment but did not receive a response.

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