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GP support services to be returned to ‘acceptable levels’ by April 2017

NHS England has pledged that ‘significant improvements’ to general practice support services will be completed by April 2017, as it seeks to return the services it outsourced last year to ‘acceptable’ levels.

By April practices will have endured more than year of disruption, after Capita took over as NHS England’s national provider of primary care support in September 2015.

The move followed an NHS England cost-cutting drive where it slashed its £100m-a-year support services budget by 40% and has resulted in huge backlogs of patient records movement, delays registering new GPs and missed payments.

board paper released ahead of NHS England’s December meeting today said: ‘An overall recovery plan, setting out how and when services will be stabilised and returned to acceptable performance, has been agreed and communicated.

‘The majority of recovery actions for the major services will be completed by March 2017, with significant improvements happening during December and January.’

The GPC announced today that practices would be funded to process a backlog of mail which a previous provider of support services, NHS Shared Business Services, had failed to redirect for four years.