Chris Bennett: Captia’s behaviour well beyond a joke
Author: Chris Bennett
Getting paid for doing a decent job is something that should go without saying, the arrival of Capita on the optical scene has turned that on its head.
The Capita era has seen optometrists denied rightful payment while it has been paid handsomely despite presiding over a right royal mess.
Back in 2016 concerns were first voiced at the speed of change. GOS payment offices counted in the dozens were reduced to single figures while the move to online forms caused consternation among practitioners.
It didn’t take long for wider problems over payment to emerge. Practices were soon counting unpaid fees into the tens of thousands while others were denied the right to practice by the non-inclusion on performers lists. CET grants were delayed, calls to Capita went unresolved.
While the NHS leapt to Capita’s defence it was left for Locsu to rescue performers list applications and for Locsu and the AOP to fund a support resource to sort out the Capita-made cock-ups. By January of this year the Optical Confederation was calling for Capita to be stripped of its contract unless it could guarantee a decent service, by February the Public Accounts Committee branded NHS outsourcing to Capita a shambles.
While the volume of discontent has subsided it is clear that there are some people who have been left hanging out to dry by optical establishment structures and are left no option to take matters into their own hands.
Embarking on legal action, as a lone individual, against a government-linked behemoth such as Capita is no mean feat. One wonders that if some are left no alternative but to take this route how many more have simply given up, written off the debt and moved on?
The optical bodies must seek redress for all those affected.