STRIP private outsourcing giant Capita of its NHS contract, doctors’ union the BMA demanded after the shocking news broke yesterday that more than 3,500 women have not received correspondence about cervical screenings, putting them at risk of undiagnosed cervical cancer.
This is after a fundamental error by Capita, the company responsible for organising patient letters. The correct process for uploading, organising and checking datafiles was not properly followed.
Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: ‘Just weeks ago, it was revealed that almost 48,000 women had not received important correspondence relating to cervical screening this year due to Capita’s incompetence, and this latest revelation shows this was not an isolated failure.
‘This is just the latest in a long line of failures since Capita took over a number of GP services in 2015 and yet NHS England have not demonstrated to the profession that they are serious at addressing what ultimately they are responsible for. ‘We therefore repeat our demand that NHS England strip the company of its contract and return this service to an in-house delivered activity that can regain the confidence of practices and patients.’
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has also called for Capita to be stripped of the contract to provide primary care support services as a result, following on from the BMA. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCGP chair, said: ‘Less than a month since we initially heard about this cervical screening error, we are now hearing it is more serious, and has affected thousands more women. ‘People working throughout the NHS have lost all confidence in Capita, and it really is time for NHS England to reconsider its contract with them.’