GP leaders have warned that the GP patient record system in England is “in chaos” following a BMA survey that revealed widespread problems with Capita services.
The survey heard responses from 281 GP practices about their experiences in October 2016 covering more than 2,159,547 patients in England.
Capita won a new out sourced contract from NHS England to deliver administrative support services to GP practices in September 2015.
The survey found that Capita failed to send or collect records from GP practices on the agreed date in 28% of cases.
Over half of practices (58%) said that patients had not been registered in the required three days.
Eight out of ten (81%) practices stated that urgent requests for records were delayed by more than three weeks.
Crucially, 31% of practices reported that they had received incorrect patient records. 23% had not received the medical supplies they had ordered on the expected date.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: “The crucial GP patient record system is currently in a state of chaos because of the complete failure of Capita to deliver an effective service.
“These mistakes are putting patient care and safety at risk. It is scandalous that up to a third of GP practices are reporting problems with incorrect patient records being sent to GP practices.
“The government needs to get a grip with the chaotic state of Capita’s handling of this key part of general practice. Patients deserve a first rate service that is safe and effective. At present, GPs are being undermined by a system that is in a chaotic mess.”
A Capita spokesperson said: “NHS England contracted Capita to both streamline delivery of GP support services and make significant cost savings across what was a highly localised service with unstandardised, generally unmeasured and in some cases, uncompliant processes.
“We have taken on this challenging initiative and we have openly apologised for the varied level of service experienced by some service users. We recently met with BMA representatives and they are aware of the steps we are taking and, as they acknowledge, there has recently been an ‘overall positive trend’ across a number of services.”