Clinical correspondence handling in the NHS Contents


Up to 31 May 2015, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) was one of a number of NHS and private providers responsible for redirecting correspondence about patients that was sent to the wrong GP. In March 2016 NHS SBS informed NHS England and the Department of Health that it had discovered a backlog of approximately 435,000 items of unprocessed clinical correspondence. We took evidence on this issue in October 2017 and issued a report on 29 November 2017. During the course of that inquiry NHS England informed us that it had discovered a new backlog of 162,000 items of clinical correspondence that had not been redirected. NHS England stated that a small proportion of GPs had not been complying with guidance and had erroneously been sending clinical correspondence and other material to Capita, the current provider of primary care support services. NHS England is responsible for arranging primary care support services in England and for the process for redirecting clinical correspondence. In May 2015 NHS England introduced new arrangements and since that date GPs are to return misdirected correspondence to the sender. At our March 2018 evidence session we examined how NHS England had allowed another backlog of unprocessed clinical correspondence to accumulate.

Published: 6 June 2018