NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) has extended Capita’s Primary Care Support England (PSCE) contract for an additional three years, in a move worth £94m.1The announcement, made by the outsourcing company, means Capita will continue to provide digital, logistical, and support services for all of NHS England’s primary care practitioners (GPs, dentists, opticians, and pharmacists) until 31 August 2025.In the announcement, Capita said it has made a number of improvements since it took over the contract in 2015, including “standardising primary care processes nationally and launching the PCSE Online platform.” Additionally, it said it has “developed strong relationships with NHSEI and other stakeholders to enhance the PCSE service.”
Capita’s public service chief executive Al Murray said the contract …
I am not at all surprised that GPs are applaud that Capita have retained this contract, as the process of awarding contracts needs to be drastically and urgently looked at.
I assume this was done through some form of the ‘tender’ process, which is mainly a paper exercise, where prior knowledge is not considered. in reality all information should be considered. However, it is a somewhat open process as all decisions made can be challenged by the organisations being considered, so if there needs to be evidence on how decisions are being made, to include non-evidenced opinions can’t be allowed.
What needs to be practiced more is accountability and transparency, so that past history can be included where there is factual evidence available. But, in many instances there is no real factual evidence just an assessors opinion from non-proved incidents. So, when poor practice is brought to notice, these all need to be investigated and the evidence forthcoming used as evidence in the tender process.
But, in my experience very few incidents of poor practice are investigated or when they are not fully investigated. While not proved are the holding organisation, especially public bodies, such as the DWP, part of the poor practice as much public opinion believes, especially in benefit assessments.
This leads to distrust of all organisations involved and when distrust arises it is extremely difficult to overcome, so in all instances there needs to be openness, honesty and above all transparency, a lot of which is not evident in this and many other systems and processes.