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Communication with PCSS

Below is a communication received from Martin Pritchard, a director of Capita, the new provider of NHS England Primary Care Support Service, following practice complaints. Capita has indicated that it would welcome feedback on its services, as of course would the LMC:


As I mentioned to you, we are aware that there are a series of issues regarding the quality of the service that primary care contractors and their staff are experiencing in the West Midlands. We have previously discussed the issue of the backlogs of work that we inherited from NHS England in the Walsall office and how we have resolved these.

We have recently sought to improve the service we provide from the Walsall office by introducing a system whereby there are four telephone lines that are constantly staffed during office hours. This means that a call should always be answered (something that was not previously happening with calls unanswered or dropping to messaging services). We have measured the number of calls that come in each time and are confident that four lines should be sufficient.

The staff answering the calls have experience of all the services provided at the Walsall office and aim to answer the majority of calls immediately. If they cannot answer the question or issue themselves, they get someone who can to call back within an hour after the call has been received. If this was not likely to be the case then we would aim to explain why and set an expectation as to when the issue can be resolved, if, for example, it was a particularly unusually or complex issue.

Where a call comes into the office on another number we have asked staff to take the details of the question or issue, explain the new process and ensure that the matter is dealt with as quickly as possible.

With regard to the general email address: yes we advocate a general email address to manage work properly if people prefer this to email but this is not a replacement for a telephone based service if this is the option preferred.

I have discussed the feedback you’ve had from practices with Johanna Law-Riding, Executive Director of Operations for all PCS services, and Martin Aspin who is the Operations Director responsible for the Walsall site. Martin has agreed a series of actions with local management at the Walsall office to ensure that staff fully understand the new arrangements.

I hope this helps and that practices’ next experience of the service is as I describe above. Either way, we’d like to hear.

Martyn Pritchard, Stakeholder Director, Primary Care Services England, Delivered on behalf of NHS England by Capita, , 71 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0XA, Tel: 07747 630978 Email: martyn.pritchard@capita.co.uk

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