Four in five GPs not satisfied with Capita primary care support service

Just 21% of GPs are satisfied with the primary care support service run by private provider Capita, an official user satisfaction survey reveals.

Prescription: practices have reported prescription pad shortages
Prescription: practices have reported prescription pad shortages

Findings from a survey on users' views of the service in the first half of 2016 reveal a sharp drop in satisfaction compared with the end of 2015.

Capita took over responsibility for running Primary Care Support England (PCSE) in September 2015 in a £400m deal for up to 10 years, and in November and December that year 63% of GP practice respondents overall were satisfied with the service.

But responses from more than 1,000 GP practices on satisfaction with the primary care support service provided in the first half of 2016 show that just 21% overall were satisfied.The average satisfaction score out of 10 was just 2.91, a report shows.

Primary care support

Satisfaction among GP practice respondents was far lower than for any other group that receives services from the Primary Care Support Services England (PCSE) operation run by Capita.

Satisfaction among high street optometrists was also low at 39%, but among dental practices it was 67%, and for community pharmacies the overall satisfaction rate was 77%.

A statement on the PCSE website says: 'Many service users are experiencing a varied service.

'The results are a clear reflection of the service during a period of large-scale service transition and change and given the pace and scale of this transformation during the survey period we would expect satisfaction levels to dip. However, we do recognise that these levels are lower than we expect.

GP workload

'The survey results reflect the differences between user groups, with GP practices and high street optometrists, who have been most impacted by service changes, feeling less satisfied than dental practices and community pharmacies.'

The findings follow months of complaints from GPs about primary care support services.

In April, GPonline reported concerns raised by practices that they were waiting weeks for patient records to be transferred between practices.

Practices were also left without thousands of pounds in trainee reimbursements earlier this year, and the BMA said last month that problems with the service run by Capita had left patients at risk.

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