Patients 'could have been harmed' after Capita outsourcing

Support services run by Capita have been "well below" acceptable standards, a watchdog says.

A GP with a tablet computer

Patients could have been put at risk of serious harm after NHS services in England were outsourced, a report says.

Nearly 90 women were wrongly told they were no longer part of the cervical screening programme after Capita started running back-office services in 2015, the National Audit Office said.

It said services had been "way below" acceptable standards, although no harm to patients had been found.

NHS England acknowledged "difficulties" but said the change had saved £60m.

'Harmful impact'

NHS England agreed a seven-year £330m deal with Capita in 2015 to run back-office functions for primary care providers such as GPs, dentists and pharmacists in a bid to reduce costs and modernise services, the public spending watchdog said.

Duties transferred to Capita included sending out test results, moving patients' medical records, processing patient registrations and paying GP practices.

The report found patients could potentially have been put at risk because of problems with the "performers list" - a list of GPs, dentists and opticians practising in the NHS - including whether they were suitably qualified and had passed other relevant checks.

"The failure to update performers lists may have compromised patient safety in cases where practitioners should have been removed," the authors of the report said.

Pharmacists are among the care providers Capita have run back-office services for

Other issues reported by the NAO included:

  • Delays in processing new applications for the performers list in 2016 resulted in about 1,000 GPs, dentists and opticians being unable to work
  • Capita carried out an "aggressive" office closure programme that it continued despite the fact it was having a harmful impact on services

However, the NAO acknowledged that NHS England had made savings of £60m in the first two years of the contract, and said Capita's self-reported performance against the contract had improved.

'Shambles'

But Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the watchdog, added that value for money was "about more than just cost reduction".

"It is deeply unsatisfactory that, two and a half years into the contract, NHS England and Capita have not yet reached the level of partnership working required to make a contract like this work effectively."

The NAO added that NHS England should consider whether the services should be taken back in-house.

Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said trying to cut costs while modernising the service was "over-ambitious, disruptive for thousands of doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists and potentially put patients at risk of serious harm".

Dr Richard Vautrey, chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, said it was asking NHS England how it planned to resolve the "shambles" of Capita running the primary care support services.

'Too many unknowns'

An NHS England spokesman said the transition, "while not without its difficulties", had saved £60m which had been reinvested into front-line care, funding the equivalent of an extra 30,000 operations.

A Capita spokeswoman added: "The report notes that several organisations and legacy issues all contributed to underperformance.

"It has been acknowledged that performance has improved and Capita will continue to work with all parties to address the small number of remaining service issues."

Separately, earlier this month Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said up to 270 women in England may have died because they did not receive invitations to a final routine breast cancer screening.

He said IT problems were to blame for the errors.




Date: 17 May 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

'Degrading strip search left me with PTSD'

Koshka Duff says she was stripped naked, manhandled and humiliated by a group of police officers

Shankill bomb: A dark day amid talks of peace

An end to violence seemed as far away as ever after the Shankill bomb in Belfast in 1993

Invictus Games: Athlete comforted in moving on-court moment

UK competitor Paul Guest was embraced by his team-mate after being unsettled by a helicopter

Universities: Is free speech under threat?

BBC Reality Check looks at whether universities have banned books, speakers or changed course conten..

'One stroke took my speech away - I think another brought it back'

Four years ago, Peter had a stroke and lost the ability to speak. This year, on the day he had a sec..

Budget 2018: How does the government collect and spend our money?

A breakdown of where the government's money comes from and where it goes
View More

More Telford News

 Zombie invasion Telford Shopping Centre

Zombies took over Telford shopping centre on Saturday evening for a unique..

 Telford youngsters awarded BBC Blue Peter badges for helping others to smile

Two Telford schoolgirls are grinning from ear to ear after being awarded B..

 Telford firm Avara Foods creates 150 new jobs

One of the UK’s biggest food businesses and a major employer in Telford ha..

 Chief reassures public after Telford speed camera worker sacked

West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner has said he hopes the swift ac..

 College is praised by education select committee chairman

The chairman of parliament’s education select committee has described Telfo..

 Telford Community Pride Awards shortlists announced

A shortlist of individuals, groups and businesses from across the borough f..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]
[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

24 Oct 2018

Wed 24 Oct - 7:30pm
Thu 25 Oct - 7:30pm
Fri 26 Oct - 7:30pm
Sat 27 Oct - 2:30pm
Sat 27 Oct - 7:30pm


Tickets £15


Group offer: £12 tickets for groups of 20+ per performance

View Details

27 Oct 2018

6- 9pm


Adult & 60+ - £13

Child (aged 3-15) - £9.50
Child (aged 0-2) - FREE
Family (2+2) - £40

Please note Passport tickets are not valid for this event and dogs will not be allowed.

Tickets must be purchased in advance either online

Dogs will not be allowed and remember to bring a torch.

View Details

30 Oct 2018

2.30pm


Tickets £11

Suitable for 5+

Show running time (approx) : 40 minutes - 15 minute interval - 30 minutes

View Details

31 Oct 2018

7:30pm


Tickets £24

Concession £22

View Details

31 Oct 2018

6:30 - 8:30pm


Children: £5.99

Adults: £1.99

Under 2's: £2.25

Under 1's: Free

View Details
View More