Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS’s botched outsourcing of primary care support services put patients at risk, says watchdog

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 17 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2176
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

NHS England and the private firm Capita failed to recognise the risks in outsourcing primary care support services and potentially put patients at risk of serious harm, a damning report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has concluded.

In August 2015, NHS England entered into a seven year, £330m (€376m; $446m) contract with Capita to deliver support services to 39 000 GPs, dentists, opticians, and pharmacists. NHS England aimed to reduce its costs by 35% from the first year of the contract, and Capita expected to make a loss of £64m in the first two years of the contract and to recoup costs in later years.

But the service has been plagued by problems,12 including delays in transferring medical records …

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