GP payment system and support services are to be privatised

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4640
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Administrative support services for primary healthcare in England are to be outsourced by open tender after NHS England opted to divest its responsibility to a third party.

The decision came after a consultation on the future of NHS primary care support services. NHS England provides back-office support to NHS GPs in areas such as patient registrations, medical records, payments, and cancer screening. After a meeting of its governing body, NHS England rejected the option to retain in-house support services, arguing that an open commercial tender would “ensure the best deal for primary care and the taxpayer.”

The move follows an earlier commitment by NHS England to reduce support service costs by 40% and is likely to lead to hundreds of job losses among support staff.1 The services were previously located within primary care trusts before their abolition …

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