GPs have been told that they will have to print off their own copies of certain forms and leaflets because of a shortage of paper stock items.
In an email sent out to practices last week, Captia, which runs primary care support services for NHS England, said ‘third party suppliers currently have limited supply or are out of stock’ of certain items.
The list includes a shortage of family doctors services registration forms, which is ‘out of stock in some areas’.
The notice added: ‘It is anticipated that interim stock of the current form will be available for PCSE to deliver in June.
‘The form is available to download and print. Click here to download the form from the NHS Choices website.’
Pulse has reported on GPs suffering severe disruptions to services – including issues with moving medical records between practices and delayed processing of updates to the National Performers List – since the contract was awarded in 2015.
Dr Ian Hume, BMA GP Committee policy lead for premises and practice finance, said: ‘This is another example in a long line of failures in the delivery of PCSE services by Capita that lumps administrative burden on practices due to errors out of their control.
‘Ultimately, this will also have a negative impact on patients, as these stock shortages include leaflets that provide important standardised information on using certain medications.
‘Earlier this month both Capita and NHS England were severely criticised by the National Audit Office for the woeful handling of the PCSE contract, and this latest instance further underlines how this contracted service fails to supply a basic service to practices.’
The report from the NAO said NHS England’s decision to outsource primary care support services to Capita ‘potentially compromised patient safety’, and has instructed it to consider taking services back in house.
A Capita spokesperson declined to comment.