NHS England reported to information watchdog over primary care support query

The BMA has reported NHS England to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after it failed to respond to a freedom of information (FOI) request on primary care support services in England.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni (Photo: BMA)
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni (Photo: BMA)

An FOI request on 2 March demanded information on unallocated GP pension payments and compensation for practices amid long-running problems with the primary care support service run by outsourcing company Capita.

The BMA requested details of rules governing the compensation scheme and asked how many practices had received payment.

As of 25 April the BMA had not received an adequate response from NHS England. Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, GPC executive committee member, said: ‘We submitted our original request to NHS England to provide details on the scale of the service’s failings at the beginning of March and yet after repeated attempts to get answers they are yet to properly respond.

'Organisations are obliged to provide answers within 20 working days, and after a frankly unacceptable wait of almost two months, we are left with no choice but to escalate this matter with the ICO.’

Ongoing issues

GPs have warned that cashflow issues caused by delayed payments under the Capita-led service had left practices struggling to remain financially viable, and have warned that and problems with the transfer of patient records between practices could put patients at risk.

Dr Kasaraneni added: ‘Ever since Capita took responsibility for primary care support services in England (PCSE) in 2015, the system has been wrought with problems, whether that was with GP pension payments or patient records.

‘We are committed to providing GPs and practices with full details about the depth of the issues impacting general practice as a direct result of this woefully-run service and will continue to put pressure on NHS England to provide a solution.’

GPonline has approached NHS England for comment. NHS England has previously stated that it has been ‘working closely with the BMA directly and Capita to address the concerns’ and are ‘committed to resolving these issues as quickly as we possibly can.'

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