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Accountants call for changes to Capita support service

The NHS should restore locally-based individuals for practices to contact for problems with support services as an ‘urgent consideration’ after it was lost when Capita took on responsibility, the body representing medical accountants has said.

A briefing by the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) has said that Capita have failed to pay practices in a timely manner and produce the correct pension reductions, and ’failure to provide a clear interface between support services and GP practices to resolve issues quickly’.

Accountants are now calling for ’urgent consideration’ to introducing a ‘go to’ person within the local area who managers can contact if they have any problems.

Pulse has previously reported on Capita since they overhauled primary care support services in April 2016 regarding records going missing, GPs being unable to work because they hadn’t been put on the performers lists and missing payments.

However, AISMA has said that allowing GPs to contact local support services is an ‘urgent’ matter.

Andrew Pow, AISMA board member said: 'If there is one aspect that should be considered urgently it is the need for the local support services interface to be restored, so that managers have a “go to” person to contact who can deal with issues in their area’

'This would result in returning the significant amount of lost management time to general practice so that managers can get on with the important job of managing their practices at what is a very difficult time for the sector.”

A Capita spokesperson told Pulse: 'This is a major transformation project to modernise a localised and unstandardised service, which inevitably has meant some challenges. We have made significant investment to deliver improvements and these have been recognised by NHS England and demonstrated through improved service performance and improved customer satisfaction.

’We are continuing to transform locally managed operations into a modern and efficient national customer-focused service for NHS England and all primary care organisations.’

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP Committee lead on support services, said: 'There have been some improvements in the way the PCSE contract has operated since its launch in 2015, largely down to continued pressure from the BMA, LMCs and other organisations. However, there has been a worrying loss of expert knowledge in key areas which AISMA highlights, especially in the administration of key accounting and financial operations.

'Far too many mistakes are occurring which has left practice payments, pension payments and GP training grants in a state of confusion. The BMA has made it clear to PCSE that this situation must be addressed as a matter of priority.’

Earlier this month, GP leaders at the LMCs England Conference called on the NHS to strip Capita of the contract, and the GPC said it would consider legal action if the problems with the support services are not resolved by January.

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