A survey carried out by the British Medical Association has revealed serious failures in a range of areas of primary care support in the NHS which has been contracted out to Capita.
These services particularly include the management of patient records. A survey has identified the following failures:-
• Long delays in collection/delivery of records when a patient transfers from one practice to another.
• Failure to process urgent requests for records in a timely manner if a patient has an immediate emergency.
• Large build up of records awaiting transfer to new practice.
• Wrong records delivered to practices resulting in time wasted by GPs.
• Records not being updated so they often appear with patients previous address on the records.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP Committee Chair, said ‘these mistakes are directly impacting on the ability of many GPs to provide safe effective care to their patients….. They are in some cases being left without essential information they need to know about a new patient and the tools to treat them”.
Capita have apologised for the “varied” quality of services.
Davies and Partners Solicitors have firsthand experience of GP Claims and the impact that these failures are having. In particular we have witnessed significant delays in obtaining copies of clients medical records. As a result we are being forced to make applications to the court in order to obtain these records. This can result in the NHS then having to pay court fees and solicitors costs.
Suzanne Williams of Davies and Partners commented “The failures identified in the report are very worrying. If vital medical information is not getting to the doctors, mistakes are going to be made and patient safety will be compromised”.