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Failings in NHS SBS relating to clinical correspondence are disgrace say GP leaders

GP leaders have branded failures in NHS Shared Business Services relating to delays and mislaid clinical correspondence “a disgrace” and called on the government to ensure that the disastrous impact on patient care is not allowed to happen again.

The comments came after the publication of a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) into problems that emerged with NHS Shared Business Services, which is contracted to run some back office operations in the NHS. 

Responding to the findings of the report, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee deputy chair said:

“The failings of this private company identified in the NAO report are completely unacceptable and it is a disgrace that this service failed so badly that patient care was being compromised. The handling and transfer of clinical correspondence is a crucial part of how general practice operates and its essential that important information reaches GPs as soon as possible so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients. 

“The public should have confidence that their records are up-to-date and that communications related to their treatment are being speedily dealt with. Patients will rightly be angry that this private company, contracted by the NHS, has failed practices and patients to such an extent.

“At a time when the NHS is under incredible funding pressure, we can ill afford to spend £6 million to clear up this administrative mess that has resulted from SBS’ failures.

“We now need Ministers to ensure that this disastrous situation never occurs again and that patients have a system that they can depend on.”


Notes to Editors

The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. We are an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care. 


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