In focus: Short-sighted outsourcing of services

Clinical Practice
Capita’s inability to deliver on its contract, and NHS England’s over-ambitious demands, have cost the profession dearly, reports Sean Rai-Roche

Capita has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Despite the extensive coverage, there has been little probing into the particular impact on optical practices.

Last month Optician was contacted by a practitioner who complained about the process by which NHS England (NHSE) and Capita were dealing with optical claims. While obviously not alone in their frustration, this individual had felt so aggrieved, and thought that the treatment was so unacceptable, he is now taking legal action against NHSE.

In 2015, Capita was awarded the primary care support services contract to administer payments to optical practices – as well as other healthcare sectors – to the tune of £330m over seven years. NHSE wanted a 35% reduction in cost across all primary care support services, affecting almost 40,000 primary care practitioners.

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