Over 100 complaints after Capita takes over patient records service

NHS bosses received more than 100 official complaints about the new privatised patient records service in its first year, the government has revealed.

Health minister David Mowat: Complaints response (Photo: Pete Hill)
Health minister David Mowat: Complaints response (Photo: Pete Hill)

Figures released by primary care minister David Mowat show a spike in complaints about records transfers after the primary care support services were taken over by contractor Capita.

The outsourcing firm has come under fire from GP leaders for a catalogue of failures after taking over the newly centralised back office functions from March 2016 including patient record transfer delays and late payments for trainee reimbursements.

In response to a question from Labour shadow health minister Mary Creagh, the government revealed there had been 103 complaints about record transfers since February 2016, the month before Capita’s service went live, with complaints rising significantly over the period from one in February and two in March up to 19 in November, 17 in December and 11 so far this month.  The figures published relate only to complaints about Capita's service.

GP record transfer

A spokesman for Capita told GPonline: ‘Every week we securely deliver an average of average 100,000 medical records in a timely manner and for the first time ever we expect every record in every local area to be delivered in a sealed bag.

‘We continuously review and monitor feedback from users so we and NHS England can be confident that our processes are working effectively for GP practices. 

‘We’ve recently introduced new routes, and we are also working closely with practices and NHS England storage sites as the process is dependent on GPs releasing medical records to us for transfer, and on these third parties. PCSE is contacting practices where the medical record has yet to be released by the previous GP, to help expedite the movement of records.’

An NHS spokesperson said: '

An NHS England spokesperson said: 'NHS England has received 103 complaints concerning Primary Care Services England, which make reference to the transfer of patient records, since 1 September 2015. It’s no secret that there have been problems relating to the Capita contract so we are continuing to monitor, review progress and investigate issues raised by users.

'We want to ensure GPs can focus on patient care and we acknowledge that Capita's provision of a number of support services for GP practices does not reflect the standard we expect. We are now working more closely with Capita to ensure that urgent and immediate improvements are made and this has included embedding a team of NHS England experts alongside Capita to more quickly identify and rapidly resolve issues. Capita has assured us they recognise the scale of the shortfalls, and are committed to resolving them as quickly as possible.'

Capita complaints:

NHS region Feb 2016 Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan 2017 Total
London 1 2 0 0 2 2 1 7 7 5 4 2 33
North of England 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 2 2 3 2 1 14
Midlands and East 0 0 0 0 2 5 2 1 3 6 7 3 29
South of England 0 0 1 0 1 3 2 2 4 5 4 5 27
Total 1 2 1 0 6 10 8 12 16 19 17 11 103

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