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Capita to be sole provider of GP support services

Capita has been announced as the sole provider for the GP back-office support contract, beating two other shortlisted providers to the contract, worth a maximum of £1bn.

NHS England confirmed Capita was its preferred provider for Primary Care Support services (PCS), and the bid will now undergo a further six to nine weeks of negotiations to finalise the service.

The successful bid is expected to be worth around £400m for seven to 10 years, providing administrative support to practices across the remaining ‘core GP support services’, including processing performers list applications, administering payments to primary care suppliers, managing the transfer of medical records and countering fraud.

The GPC raised concerns about the depths of cuts to GP back-office support funding after NHS England began tendering the PCS contract last year in a bid to save £40m from its Primary Care Support Services budget of £100m annually.

The contract received interest from a variety of providers, including international arms firm Lockheed Martin – although the company did not proceed to bid.

In a statement Capita said: ‘Capita plc (‘Capita’) announces today that it has been selected by NHS England as preferred bidder to establish a single provider framework for administrative support functions for primary care across the UK.

‘Capita will introduce a common set of services, processes and standards to improve the quality, reliability and sustainability of administration support services. Accessible services and better ways of working will contribute significant savings in keeping with NHS England’s commitment to reduce administration costs and protect investment in frontline care.’

Chair of the GPC’s contracts and regulation subcommittee Dr Robert Morley told Pulse when the competitive tender was announced last July: ‘The portents are absolutely horrendous for general practice I’m afraid.

‘I don’t want to be a Casandra or a shroud waver, but we’ve been proved right over payments, there’s nothing at all that reassures me this isn’t going to be an absolute bloody disaster.’

Pulse has already reported how the GPC has clashed with NHS England after it tried to assign responsibility for processing patient’s organ donations to practices without consultation.