C+D revealed in August that Capita, which provides primary care support services on behalf of NHS England, had severe backlogs which meant pharmacy owners were operating for months without receiving payments for enhanced services. One contractor told C+D at the time he was owed £30,000 in enhanced service payments.
Graham Phillips, superintendent pharmacist of Manor Pharmacy Group in Hertfordshire confirmed to C+D yesterday (September 14) he is still waiting for reimbursement.
Other contractors have experienced months of delays when making applications for new pharmacies.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) wrote to NHS England in July to seek remedial action, and demand that losses are “dealt with speedily and fairly by NHS England”.
NHS England told C+D in August it would “hold Capita to account” for its failures, and has now written back to PSNC to apologise “that some services have not met expectations”.
The commissioner has set out plans for an “operational assurance review” of Capita’s services “as a result of a number of stakeholder concerns”, according to PSNC.
“The review will support Capita to assess the effectiveness of the processes in place… and make recommendations for how Capita could improve,” PSNC said.
Capita's "major challenge"
According to PSNC, NHS England said in its letter that there are currently “no supply backlogs other than where they are awaiting stock through the NHS supply chain”. But it is aware of delays and errors occurring with market entry applications, caused by having to provide a “very wide range of local processes and services”, which has been “a major challenge for Capita”.
PSNC director of operations and support Gordon Hockey said the negotiator “remains cautious about how quickly these issues can be resolved”.
“Whilst Capita has made improvements… there is still some way to go and a certain level of inconsistency remains. We hope NHS England can give more sustained support... to guide Capita for future reliability of services,” he added.