Capita primary care service performance still 'unacceptable', NHS England admits

The private company providing primary care support services to GPs will be held accountable for its shortcomings, NHS England has promised following complaints from the BMA.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA GPs’ committee, wrote to NHS England last month saying the company had “substantial issues that are ongoing and causing significant problems for the GP population”.

He stated that payments provided by Capita were often missing large amounts of money and locum GPs receive no receipts for pension requests.

Furthermore, information updating and sharing was “inadequate”, with long delays in processing patient registrations and delivering patient records.

Dr Nagpaul also said customer support staff were failing to answer GPs’ questions and practices were not receiving adequate levels of supplies.

In her response, Karen Wheeler, national director of transformation and corporate operations at NHS England, apologised for the problems.

“Capita has delivered an unacceptable level of performance in a number of the PCS service lines which does not reflect the standard of service that we commissioned Capita to provide,” she said.

“It is a top priority for me to ensure Capita address their performance and resolve all the current issues as fast as possible. To that end, we have been challenging Capita over recent months with increasing levels of scrutiny across every one of the service lines.

"Progress in some areas has been made but we know that these improvements are not yet being consistently experienced.”

Wheeler said Capita has had an operational improvement plan in place since May. Improvements since then included bringing in additional management for payment and pensions, and a programme of staff development at the customer service centre.

Capita now expects to resolve the issues with patient registration by the end of September and the issues with the medical records service by the end of October.

A survey by the BMA of local medical committees also found a number of ongoing serious issues.

Dr Nagpaul argued that these mistakes were “directly impacting on the ability of many GPs to provide safe, effective care to their patients".

"They are in some cases being left without the essential information they need to know about a new patient and the tools to treat them," he continued.

“NHS England is ultimately responsible for the chaos caused by trying to cut the cost of this essential service for practices by privatising it and we can now all too clearly see the result, with practices picking up the workload and patients suffering as a result. 

"We need urgent action to correct these shortcomings before patient care is further compromised.”

Opticians’ professional bodies have also written to NHS England to express concern about the impact of Capita’s problems on their services.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >


Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

24/02/2020Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

Words by Dean Royles and Kevan Taylor, who continue their regular contribution to NHE’s blog content. Kevan and Dean work in organisations and systems providing strategi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


February 2020

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

featured articles

View all News