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‘This situation is completely unacceptable’

Dear Mr Stevens

Following the meeting between the BMA General Practitioners Committee and NHS England on 11 January 2018, 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). In a meeting on 7 November, we asked NHS England for significant progress to be made to resolve the issues by 31 December 2017. 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.

In December, we conducted a survey of practices and individual practitioners (appended to this letter). The results show that there is little improvement, if any, across all service lines, when compared to our previous survey in October 2016; in fact, there appears to be a significant deterioration in some services. While any new organisation takes time to take over services effectively, the situation has gone from bad to worse since Capita took over the PCSE service almost two and a half years ago.

The BMA has engaged with NHS England to resolve these issues for over two years, despite this the failures of the service continues to have a major impact on practices, practitioners and patients (direct and indirect). In fact the reality is that rather than making progress, the system for resolving issues, both directly between practices/GPs and PCSE, and when escalated through the BMA to NHS England, has significantly slowed down over the last two months. We are also concerned with the severe delays and insufficient service experienced by those seeking compensation for loss of earnings due to the failing of PCSE.

This situation is completely unacceptable. 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.

Yours sincerely

Richard Vautrey

Chair, General practitioners committee England