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Hey Capita, a tiny word you are going to hear from me A LOT

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So let me make sure I’ve got this right. According to reports, Capita is going to ‘ask’ us, annually, to provide an unconsented list of patients who haven’t been seen for five years with a view to contacting them and then removing them from our lists if they don’t respond, thereby breaching confidentiality, increasing our workload and decreasing our income, and this is something that NHS England believes we are likely to do without the need for contractual change.

I can’t see the problem, can you? Oh, wait, yes I can. We might say ‘yes’, partly because we tend to be a bunch of nice, accommodating, over co-operative professionals and partly we because we are so dazed and confused at the moment that we might just do whatever’s expedient. So I’m going to remind everyone that there is an alternative to saying yes, or any of its variants, and just in case you’re in doubt as to how to do this, here’s a ready reckoner:

Do not say thisInstead, say this
Yes No
Oui Non
Ja Nein
Yeah Nah
Okay Nokay
Of course Of course not
Uh huh Uh-uh
Yup Nope
Totally Untotally
Way No way
Yessir No maaaam
Okey dokey Nokey dokey
By all means Go screw yourself
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes ….YES! F-off.

In other words, we just need to learn lots of words for ‘no’ in the same way that the Eskimos have so many words for snow. Or, we need to say ‘no’ repeatedly and loudly, which, in case you’re not sure how that would work, would go something like this: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. NO. Keep doing this and I guarantee the person waiting for you to say ‘yes’ will eventually go away.

That’s it. Simple. Sorted. Understand? Or rather, do you not understand? Exactly: no. You’re getting the hang of it. Now, try that when Capita give you a call.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield 

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Readers' comments (25)

  • Nah, we should embrace this change. Surely it's but a small step from no payment for no activity to payment X for seeing them once, 2X for twice, 3X for thrice etc etc.
    Payment by activity! Bring it on!

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  • Yesterday a chap came and said to the receptionist that he had something to collect. We were expecting somebody from Capita but this gentleman had no ID, was in a rented car and had no idea what he was collecting.
    When asked for an ID, he showed his driving license. 'Well, my Manager said to him, 'I have a driving license too but it doesn't mean that any Surgery will hand over a wad of patient notes to me with that'.
    It was not this poor guy's fault as somebody just packed him off to go and collect patient notes without a professional outfit, directions or company ID.
    Of course, he had to return empty handed and after his phone call to the firm, we had another van come in with the right IDs etc.
    Capita needs to brush up it's act. The lack of proper due diligence by NHSE before giving the Contract is quite evident.

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  • Learn the word. It begins with N and ends in O and has two letters in it. Out of all the new words you learn at medical school (more than any language student) It is the most important one you need to learn. Then you need to know how and when to say it.

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  • Or we could screw capita massively on their main failing contract and use it to prevent any of us handing over further patient identifiable data ever to them. Sounds much more fun.

    Dear ICO,
    I write to express my grave concerns...

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  • Have they thought this may save them looking for all the missing medical records that they say they are still waiting to send us !
    And that the less patients we have the less emailed queries that we send they won't have to answer !
    They should sort the existing problems before thinking about creating new ones !!

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  • we at the RCGP welcome this exciting opportunity to engage with Capita without hesitation; we are utterly certain that all funds released by list cleaning will immediately be returned to primary care funding; out new module "Reflecting on the primary care interface between faeces and the GP" is a valuable resource to help all GPs embrace the opportunity to work closer with NHS England.

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  • GPs should learn to say 'NO', but nothing will improve until NHSE learn the same lesson.

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  • So you are all happy to continue being paid for patients who have left, gone away, died, returned home? The mechanism may need refinement but the aim - of having correct records - seems pretty unobjectionable.

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  • the systematic destabilisation of the foundation of the nhs is also objectionable. Good will has been lost. This is what you are seeing here. Expect more of it.

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  • Given that there is a per capita fee per patient ,the tax payer is surely entitled to expect that patient numbers are as accurate as possible .
    The principle is therefore sound; the practicalities of funding
    The workload may require further elucidation.

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder