NHS contract with Capita may have put patients at risk

Posted By admin - 1st August 2018

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently released a report, which states that a contract between the NHS and Capita may have put patients at risk of harm.

Capita signed a seven year contract with the NHS in 2015. The intention was that it would reduce primary care support service costs and modernise the NHS. The services that were outsourced to Capita included:

  • Organising payments to GP practices, opticians and pharmacies;
  • Administering GPs’ pensions;
  • Confirming GPs’, dentists’ and opticians’ qualifications;
  • Sending out letters to those eligible for cervical screening.

The report states that the outsourcing caused thousands of GPs, dentists and opticians to experience delays in treating patients.

It also said that Capita had failed to deliver on main aspects of its service contract. One of the issues concerned 87 women who were incorrectly notified that they were no longer part of the cervical screening programme.

The National Audit Office also issued a report on Capita’s performance and said that the services had been “way below” acceptable standards. Despite this, the report confirmed that there had been no harm to patients.

Meg Hillier PAC Chairwoman said that it was unacceptable to put patients at risk of harm, and to “undermine the ability of GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists to do their jobs.”

A spokesperson from Capita apologised for the failings in the early delivery of the contract. He stated that they are now meeting the vast majority of key performance targets and have put in place a new governance plan with NHS England to ensure that the improvement continues.

A representative from NHS England said the NHS will continue to work with medical professionals and Capita to resolve the “historic issues” highlighted by the report and that the plan was saving money, which has been reinvested in frontline patient care.

Moosa – Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence claims. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, either due to private healthcare or as a patient under the NHS, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456, so that we can discuss your concerns.