• Two senior managers leave Capita’s troubled primary care support service
  • Jill Matthews, former managing director for PCS, has now been “embedded” in Capita with other NHS England personnel
  • NHS England has begun daily performance meetings with Capita over PCS service failures
  • Medical records service problems expected to be resolved by end of the month

Two senior leaders have left the Capita team responsible for a widely criticised GP support service, with one replaced by an NHS England director, HSJ has learned.

Capita has confirmed that Mark Berman, who led the firm’s Primary Care Support England arm, has now left the team. Stakeholder director Martyn Pritchard has also stepped down.

The outsource giant runs primary care support services for NHS England under a £330m contract awarded last year.

NHS England has confirmed that a team of its own employees has now been “embedded” in Capita’s primary care support services team – including Jill Matthews, who ran PCS at NHS England before Capita took the service over.

HSJ understands Mr Pritchard is no longer working for Capita, while Mr Berman is still with the firm but no longer working on PCS.

Although the reason for the departures is unclear, the news comes at a time of increasing pressure on Capita from NHS England to improve the service, which has been dogged by reports of poor performance since early 2016.

Ms Matthews has been appointed as stakeholder director.

Simon England has been appointed managing director for the service. He has a background in insurance and has previously worked for Accenture.

Last month, Karen Wheeler, national director of transformation and corporate operations, wrote a letter to the British Medical Association in response to criticisms of the service raised by the union.

The letter said: “Capita has delivered an unacceptable level of performance in a number of the PCS service lines which does not reflect the standard of service that we commissioned Capita to provide.

“It is a top priority for me to ensure Capita address their performance and resolve all the current issues as fast as possible. To that end, we have been challenging Capita over recent months with increasing levels of scrutiny across every one of the service lines.”

The letter also confirmed that the national commissioner has started having “daily performance meetings” and said it expects issues with medical records services to be “substantively sorted by the end of October”.

Capita confirmed the departures of Mr Pritchard and Mr Berman but would not comment further.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “We want to ensure GPs can focus on patient care and we acknowledge that Capita’s provision of a number of support services for GP practices does not reflect the standard we expect.

“We are working more closely with Capita to ensure that urgent and immediate improvements are made, and this includes embedding a team of NHS England experts alongside Capita to more quickly identify and rapidly resolve issues. Capita has assured us they recognise the scale of the shortfalls, and are committed to resolving them as quickly as possible.”