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BMA to support practices in taking legal action against Capita

The BMA’s GP Committee has written to NHS England about the ‘unacceptable’ problems with Capita’s primary care support services, and said it will support ’practices and individual doctors in taking legal routes to seek resolution’. 

The letter from GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey says that it had conducted a survey of practices that showed that the issues with Capita – including patient records transfers and processing payments – had ‘gone from bad to worse’ since it started two and a half years ago.

It added that the problems have got worse in the past two months, despite the BMA working with NHS England.

At the English LMCs conference in November, the BMA gave NHS England a deadline of the end of December to resolve the problems with Capita, or face potential legal action.

However, in the letter to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, Dr Vautrey wrote: ’I am writing to you to express our disappointment that we have not seen the necessary substantial improvement in the outstanding issues we have continuously raised about the service delivery of PCSE (Primary Care Support England).’

He added: ’Although we appreciate the updates we have received, we feel that due to the severity of the issues and impact which it is having on primary care services across the country the lack of progress, and indeed deterioration, is unacceptable.’

The letter included results from the survey of 748 practices and 1,540 GPs in December, which found: 

  • 88% of practices had patient records waiting for collection, while 93% were awaiting the delivery of patient records;
  • 64% of practices said they had received incorrect patient records in the past three months;
  • 62% of practices said urgent requests for patient care were not actioned within three weeks;
  • More than a third (39%) of practices said patient registrations were not processed within three days.

Dr Vautrey concluded: ’As a result of the lack of improvement in the service delivery of PCSE we are now left with no option but to support practices and individual doctors in taking legal routes to seek resolution. While this is taking place, we believe it is imperative that NHS England conducts a transparent and comprehensive review of all policy, procedures and processes used by PCSE across each service line.’

GPs reported a huge number of problems when Capita rolled out its support services in early 2016, including patient records going missing and problems with payments and putting GPs on the performers’ list. 

Capita have said problems are being cleared up, stating in November that the company has been ‘improving the service and that has been recognised by NHS England’.

Capita and NHS England have been contacted for comment