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NHS England apologises for poor Capita performance

NHS England will conduct an "operational assurance review" of Capita's services, PSNC said

NHS England has apologised for failings by its supplier Capita that have left contractors tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

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.

2 Comments
Question: 
Has your pharmacy been affected by the problems with Capita?

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Crapita's "major challenge"?  It seems to be a major challenge for NHSE to remove the contract from them on the basis of failure to deliver.  GH from PSNC is also letting them off too lightly.  Were Crapita not aware they were going to have to look at contract applications allowing for local conditions in accordance with PNAs before they were given their own contract by NHSE?  It beggars belief how incompetent this company has become.  However when you look at their recent history it should have given NHSE a clue that they would of course fail to deliver on time like they failed with smart metering etc in the previous year.  Perhaps the NHSE tender process does not allow the tendering team to look back at histories of past failures - I have no idea - but it should!  If NHSE are too cowardly to remove the contract then an alternative would be to fine them at least the same amount that they eventually are found to owe contractors in late payment for services and any penalties that occur or have occured to potential contractors who's applications have failed to beat the usual deadlines through no fault of the potential contractors.  With any luck the amounts involved might be enough for them to decide to walk away from the NHSE contract.  

Dave Downham, Manager

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