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Capita claims majority of health providers now ‘satisfied’ with support services

A majority of primary care providers are now ‘satisfied’ with the support services provided by Capita, the outsourcing company has claimed.

In its latest six-monthly survey, some 58% of respondents from general practice, pharmacy, optometry and dentistry said they were satisfied overall with the support they received.

But when asked by Pulse to provide data on satisfaction ratings within general practice specifically, Capita refused to provide a breakdown.

Pulse had revealed that in the previous survey GP satisfaction had plummeted from 63% to 21% after Capita took over.

Capita, which is the provider company behind Primary Care Support England (PCSE), is contractually obliged via its agreement with NHS England to carry out a satisfaction survey. But it has only just now published the latest results, from December 2016, following requests from Pulse.

The report said: ‘The overall user satisfaction rate from the December 2016 survey was calculated at 58% with an average satisfaction score of 5.17 [on a 10 point scale] which falls into the “satisfied” user classification.’

And, despite a majority of respondents indicating they were satisfied overall, around 60% said they were disatisfied with ‘how efficiently PCSE handled their issue or query’; and ‘how efficient staff were at communicating progress on issues or queries’. Over half (53%) also said they were disatisfied with ‘the knowledge and experience of staff’.

A Capita spokesperson told Pulse: ‘Overall satisfaction has increased and we are using this data to help inform our improvement plans.’

At last month’s annual LMCs conference, GP leaders called for NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens to be held to account for failings of the support service since it was outsourced by NHS England to Capita in 2015. But LMCs refrained from voting to strip Capita of its existing seven-year contract due to fears it would then lead to further upheaval.

This came as GPs and practices have suffered a host of issues since the handover, including being left without supplies, being stuck with stockpiles of patient notes, missing patient records, unpaid trainee pay reimbursements and unprocessed performers’ list requests.