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BMA backs GPs on legal action over Capita support services

The British Medical Association (BMA) has said it will support GPs who take legal action to rectify underpayments and errors resulting from Capita’s primary care support services.

Richard Vautrey, the BMA GPs committee chair, has written to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens describing the lack of improvement in the shortcomings with PCSE (Primary Care Services England) as ‘completely unacceptable’.

A BMA survey of almost 750 GP practices carried out in December suggested that many aspects of PCSE had either not improved or worsened since a previous survey in October 2016.

A service providing back-office support to GP surgeries, including a transfer of patient records and staff pay, PCSE has been operated by Capita since 2015. 

Dr Vautrey said the association had “no choice” but to support practices and GPs seeking legal redress. He further called on NHS England to carry out a ‘transparent and comprehensive review’ of all PCSE functions.

He said: “The BMA has engaged with NHS England to resolve these issues for more than two years, despite this, the failures of the service continue to have a major impact on practices, practitioners and patients. The reality is that rather than making progress, the system for resolving issues, both directly between practices or GPs and PCSE, and when escalated through the BMA to NHS England, has significantly slowed down over the last two months.

“We are also concerned with the severe delays and insufficient service experienced by those seeking compensation for loss of earnings owing to the failings of PCSE.”

He added: ‘This situation is completely unacceptable. As a result of the lack of improvement in the service delivery of PCSE we are now left with no option but to support practices and individual doctors in taking legal routes to seek resolution.’

Capita has been asked for comment.