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Capita's processes made me consider the Jobcentre for work

Dr Jenny Hartley

I’m currently a Scottish GP ST3, due to get my Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in August, before going straight into partnership in the south of England. Knowing how long it takes and that there might be issues with me moving from Scotland to England, I emailed Primary Care Support England (PCSE) with a few queries. Multiple times over a five-week period, but without a reply.

I called the number on the website and was told I couldn’t speak to anyone in the performers team, and could only correspond via the email address (which no one had ever replied to). I asked for the complaints team's contacts (again via email only, without being permitted to speak to a person), and emailed them a complaint.

Then, the complaints team notified me that I couldn’t apply to the performers list until the date I get my CCT in August, and that the application process would then take up to 12 weeks. As I’m not on the English performers list as a trainee (but am on the Scottish one), and am applying to the English performers list as a principal, I can’t work in either country while my application is pending. This means that from August, I will be without income for 12 weeks, and my patients in my new partnership will be without a seven-session GP as the other partners are dropping sessions.

I was looking at the Jobcentre for non-medical work to do for 12 weeks

When I called PCSE after previous no replies, I was told I can’t speak to anyone - I’d have to email. I emailed the complaints team, as it was the only way of getting a reply, and asked if they could start the 12 week process of document checks and gathering references now, hold my application pending until 6th August when my CCT comes through, and then finalise my application that day. They refused to budge.

In the end, I involved the BMA, Wessex LMC, and finally Wessex PCP, who were able to help. They have enforced Capita to do as I suggested and get the whole application done now in advance, and then hold it pending until August, when I appear on the GP register to prevent any delays.

It's utterly frustrating and at times terrifying to think that I would be without income for so long. I was seriously looking at the Jobcentre for non-medical work I could do for 12 weeks.

Dr Jenny Hartley is a GP trainee in Scotland

A Capita spokesperson said to Pulse: PCSE is working closely with NHS England and other parties who contribute to the performance of the end-to-end process for the national performers list. This is currently a lengthy process with a number of checks and approvals across multiple organisations. To streamline it, we are creating a secure, online system that will address a number of issues inherent in the current paper-based system.

‘This will improve the time taken to process a change request and accuracy, and deliver better transparency around the progress of applications. The new system will ensure pension deductions taken from practices for GPs are updated faster.’

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Readers' comments (11)

  • Performers lists have two functions and not necessarily in this order.
    One, more jobs for managers and two to crush any remaining self esteem from medical doctors. They have nothing to do with safe quality patient care.
    And well done Dr Hartley.

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  • please-delete-this-fucking-profile-i-cant-delete-it-in-my-account-settings

    i had similar issues moving from one city to another within England a few years ago. they were shite and are shite now. the fact tax payers are paying them for this shite and nobody in charge is doing anything about it is beyond me - it just smells of corruption. there's something about the people making money out of capita and the people awarding government contracts to capita that doesn't stack up

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  • @locum x
    One has to suspect that someone in Government is up to their neck in backhanders.
    The service they provide is so poor and potentially a threat to patient care and yet nobody is acting on it. Reeks of corruption.

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  • have to angry with Angus here..... no rationale person would give crapita the contract..... backhanders are the only logical explanation..... I wondered how Jeremy Hunt was going to fund his BoJo campaign

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  • strange how all the top dogs, bma, rcgp don't just go on record and publicly call out the joke that is capita

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  • I know a returner who took nearly a year to get on the list. It exactly as the article describes, multiple email addresses, nobody answering.

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  • In the old days, before performers lists were even dreamt of, when a partner joined the practice, payments were made by their PCO 3 months in arrears. The small monthly interim advances were to help win covering staff costs etc. It was common practice for the existing partners to loan the new partner funds to be able to survive. Along with the cash flow problems were costs of contributing to the practice working capital, buying in, moving expenses etc. It has always been tough for GPs. New partners in many other professions including hospital colleagues seem to have more assistance when moving jobs.

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  • It took over 4 months for me to get in the system trying to get back on the performers list after a break to look after a relative. By the time I got to the cost of occupational health I had run out of time and was told I could apply for the returner scheme after 24 years of general practice experience .
    No thanks
    Like the article there was no one to speak to and unimaginable delays.
    Why on earth do you have to go for an identity check when you have just had a DBS !
    i guess they don't really want GP s as there are cheaper staff to use - the few Gps left can just bear the responsibility -win win

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  • I totally agree with the this article. I can never get a stright answer from them.

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  • The process that this unfortunate young doctor has been subjected to is beyond the wildest imaginings of Franz Kafka.

    I read the article with increasing horror. What the F is happening to the world.

    I hope that - as a minimum - she will receive a personal apology from Capita and some financial recognition of her considerable inconvenience.

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