GPC passes vote of no confidence in Capita after 'months of failures'
The GPC has passed a motion of no confidence in Capita for its primary care support services following a series of failures, which it claims are putting patients at risk.
The committee passed the motion at its meeting today, referencing ’months of concerns’ around ’failures in patient record transfer, delivery of supplies and payment problems’.
It also called for the abandoning of plans to remove patients from practice lists if they haven’t used GP services in five years, which was exclusively highlighted by Pulse.
A statement by the BMA said: 'This decision was taken after months of concerns highlighted by practices in England about the failures in patient record transfer, delivery of supplies and payment problems since NHS England handed over responsibility to Capita, as well as the very real concerns highlighted yesterday in NHS England's plans to remove patients from practice lists.'
Pulse has reported extensively on the problems faced by practices since Capita started implementing its new schemes from April.
It revealed how the BMA said practices had been left without deliveries of basic clinical supplies and had accumulated piles of patients’ notes – with some practices saying they waited four weeks for a collection.
The GPC also said that practices reported patient notes going missing, while the Information Commissioner’s Office is enquiring about information governance breaches.
GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul wrote to NHS England last month demanding that GPs be compensated for the ‘systematic failure’ of support services, and indemnified against any serious incidents that may have arisen.
Dr Nagpaul said: 'The GPC has passed a vote of no confidence in Capita. We believe that the commissioned service they provide for primary care support in England is putting patients at risk and has caused serious disruption for general practice.
’The plans for removing patients from practice lists should be abandoned. Every person in the UK has a fundamental right to be registered with a local GP practice at all times. We are calling on NHS England to meet with GPC England to discuss these plans before any further action is taken.’
Dr Uzma Ahmad, Walsall LMC medical secretary and a member of GPC, said the committee was completely in agreement.
She added: 'We agree that Capita has not done what is expected of it and NHS England is not holding it to account. They have put patient safety at risk and there is more to come out around further concerns.
'At a time when we are under pressure, having problems with support services is another draw on general practice, and we are at a point where we cannot allow further damage.'
Pulse revealed yesterday that GPs will be expected to provide primary care support provider Capita with a list of suspected ghost patients every year under the biggest ever list-cleansing drive, which could increase practices' workload burdens and result in them losing funding.
A Capita spokesperson told Pulse: 'Capita have been engaged by NHS England to undertake this major transformation of primary care services from what was a locally agreed, fragmented system to one that is standardised, effective and efficient.
'Given the scale and complexity of transformation there will undoubtedly be challenges. We are working closely with NHS England and our key stakeholders including the GPC. NHS England have recognised the progress we have made and together we will ensure it continues.'
The problems with primary care support services
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NHS England opted to save £40 million a year from its support services budget and tendered for a single national provider for Primary Care Support England (PCSE).
The winner, Capita, has centralised support services to three national hubs and implemented a single online ‘portal’ for practices to order supplies and ‘track’ the movement of patient records.
Pulse has documented issues, from FP10 shortages, to patient notes turning up in a carpark, that have spiked since April’s overhaul and GP leaders have been urging practices to report every issue to NHS England.
GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul wrote to NHS England demanding practices be compensated for the ‘systematic failure’ of PCSE, and indemnified against any claims as a result of support service issues.
The timetable by Primary Care Support England - the arm of Capita that manages the services - shows that new services for payments, screenings and performers list will be implemented from April 2017.