Earlier this year, Capita announced a three-year extension to its primary care support services contract with NHS England. Pulse’s recent investigation has analysed the performance of Capita’s service delivery arm Primary Care Support England (PCSE), how it has affected GPs and patient care, and the justification for the extension. As part of this we spoke to GPs about their experience with the organisation. These are their stories.
‘Sometimes it’s so overwhelming I just can’t face it’
A GP in Dorset tells Pulse they first encountered issues with PCSE in 2016, when they discovered their total rewards statement was blank. After a lengthy process, which involved paying for professional support from the BMA and putting in a complaint, they discovered that PCSE was missing data on their pensions contributions. Six years later the same issues persist. Despite being told more than once that their record has been updated, it is still blank.
‘At one point, I had to go through my entire accounts and go to the bank in person to request historical data because they said they didn’t have evidence that I’d provided any of this money.
‘I had to provide copies of cheques and resend every single bit of information I had previously uploaded…and check every single invoice that I’d sent for every single locum shift that I’d done over a period of years, so that they had all the information they should have to update my statement.’
By 2018, the GP was told that this had finally been resolved. But two years later – when they needed to access a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) statement, which is required as part of a financial order when going through the process of getting divorced, they ran into difficulty again.
‘I went online to request the CETV statement and again there was no information, no total rewards statement and I was told it could take them nine months to a year to provide the information.
‘I fed this back to my solicitor and was advised that this was not acceptable. It caused a lot of distress and a lot of issues with proceeding with the divorce, I didn’t really know where to go.’
After long discussions with PCSE, the GP was able to obtain the CETV statement within a few months – but the delays cost them thousands in solicitor and accountancy fees. They were told in December 2020 that their pensions record had been updated and they would be able to view a statement in August 2021. But when they last checked in September 2022, the statement was still blank.
‘Basically, it’s just a never-ending horror – I’ve been in tears, I’ve screamed, I’ve sworn, I’ve shouted, I’ve buried my head in the sand – sometimes it’s so overwhelming I just can’t face it so therefore I just ignore it for another six months and then go back to try and deal with it again.
‘It’s so stressful and as a direct result of that I now don’t pay into it, I’ve tried to find employment where I don’t pay into NHS pensions because I can’t face dealing with them. I know that’s a detriment to me…but it’s so distressing for me I just can’t face dealing with PCSE.’