Stripping Capita of cervical screening contract ‘only right’, BMA says

Following the scandal last year, which saw over 43,000 women not send their smear test information, Capita has been stripped of its contract

Capita is to be stripped of its cervical screening contract in June, following a serious blunder that saw over 43,000 women not being send their smear test information.

Capita accepted responsibility for the mistake, in which thousands of women didn’t receive their cervical screening invitations or reminder letters.

Additionally, 4,508 women weren’t sent the letters informing them of their test results. As such, the responsibility will be brought back in-house.

The numbers of people attending their cervical screenings is at an all-time low, and a pilot scheme to allow women to test at home is currently being launched.

Responding to NHS England’s decision about capita, Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP committee executive team member, said:

“We have long been raising concerns about Capita’s frankly shambolic running of GP support services – and most notably called for their contract to be stripped when it was revealed at the end of last year that thousands of patients had not received vital information about cervical screening, potentially putting these them at risk1.

“It is only right that NHS England has followed through and removed this service from Capita, and now any transition process must be robust and not be done as a cost-cutting exercise at the expense of patient safety.

“Furthermore, we know there are still fundamental ongoing issues with Capita’s delivery of other backroom functions – including the transfer of patient records, pensions administration and payments to practices – and we demand that NHS England ultimately takes responsibility for all of these shortcomings, and brings these back in-house as well.”

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