Primary care support services provide a range of administrative and back-office functions to around 39,000 GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists. The services provided include: administering payments to GP practices, opticians and pharmacies; administering the pensions of GPs; administering confirmation that GPs, dentists and opticians in the NHS are suitably qualified; sending out letters for those eligible for cervical screening; processing patient registrations and de-registrations; and validating and processing pharmacy market entry applications.
In August 2015, NHS England entered into a seven-year, £330 million contract with Capita to deliver primary care support services, now known as Primary Care Support England. NHS England aimed to reduce its costs by 35% from the first year of the contract and create better quality support services that were more efficient, and easy to use. Capita’s bid depended on it closing local primary care support offices and delivering a major transformation of services to meet NHS England’s objective to reduce its costs, such as introducing a single customer support centre and an online service for submitting GP payments and ordering medical supplies.
Published: 25 July 2018