Capita problems affecting practice funding, workforce and patients, say GPs

Some 89% of GP partners report problems with Capita-run primary care support in the past 12 months, with doctors' ability to work undermined for months at a time and practices facing long waits for payments, a GPonline poll reveals.

Just 11% of GP partners have not had any problems with the primary care support service run by Capita over the last 12 months, according to the GPonline poll.

The results – which include responses from 227 GP partners – suggest the vast majority of GP practices have recently had problems with essential services provided by the company.

Nearly one in two (45%) of all respondents said problems with the service were still ongoing.

Partners reported that their dealings with Capita had been affected by poor communication, delays, missed payments and errors.

Some report they have been waiting months to receive payments and say they are owed refunds running into tens of thousands of pounds.

Primary care support service

In the most widespread problem reported by GP partners, three in five (60%) said they have had issues with patient record transfers over the past year.

More than half (53%) of respondents had problems with superannuation payments, with one in three struggling with enhanced services payments (34%) and a similar proportion with rents and reimbursements (33%).

One GP said their practice was still waiting to receive new notes for a patient who registered with them over six months ago.

Another told how one of their new partners has yet to be added to the performers list despite them joining 18 months earlier.

One said it took Capita nine months to add a new partner to the local performers list, leaving her unable to do essential tasks such as accessing lab results for the whole of this duration. 'Other staff had to look up results for her,' they added.

One partner said it was taking up 'enormous amounts of time' to try and chase up problems. They said: 'Emails seem to end up in a big black hole, without even acknowledgement they’ve been received.’

Capita

‘No payment for GP registrar for almost six months, while superannuation payments are still being paid from the practice for a partner who retired three months ago,’ another said.

Capita said it had made a number of improvements to the medical records service over the past 12 months, asserting that it was ‘consistently meeting service levels’. It ‘safely and timely’ moves around 100,000 files a week from multiple sites, it added.

A spokeswoman said: ‘This is a major transformation project to modernise a localised and unstandardised service and we have made significant investment to deliver improvements which have been demonstrated through improved customer satisfaction as measured by our regular independent user satisfaction survey and improved service performance.

‘As has always been the case, we are dependent on a number of third parties supplying us with information and permissions, keeping us informed and notifying us of changes in order for us to efficiently and effectively process requests.’

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