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Capita goes solo

After just over a year, NHS England has decided it is time for Capita’s training wheels to come off in relation to a multi-million pound primary care support contract.

In 2016, a year after NHS England awarded Capita a contract to run PCS services for the NHS, the national commissioning body sent a team of experts to support the outsource giant following concerns raised about the service.

The widely reported concerns included long delays in delivering GPs clinical notes and processing pension payments, and culminated in a minister saying Capita was “inadequately” prepared to take over the contract.

In response, NHS England sent in the cavalry, which included Jill Matthews, who previously ran the service when was delivered in-house.

However, with the new year came a new beginning and at the end of January, NHS England decided to withdraw Ms Matthews and the rest of the team.

NHS England told HSJ this was always the plan and the training wheels (our phrase, not theirs) were always meant to be temporary.

One might conclude, following NHS England’s decision, that Capita has improved its primary care support services and ironed out all the previous kinks.

However, we have to consider a recent warning from the British Medical Association, which in January said the service has gone “from bad to worse” and had shown no improvement after two years.