Optical Confederation calls on NHS England to take urgent action to address Capita failures

22 January 2018

The Optical Confederation has today (Monday 22 January 2018) written to Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, calling for urgent action to address the ongoing failure of Capita to fulfil their contractual obligations. 

The letter highlights the “utter frustration, dissatisfaction and anger” at the continuing failure of the Primary Care Support England (PCSE) service delivered by Capita for NHS England. Echoing a similar letter from the British Medical Association (BMA), the Optical Confederation Chief Executives describe the situation as “completely unacceptable”, pointing out that Capita has failed to deliver on promises to rectify the situation dating back as far as April 2016. 

The optical sector has “no confidence” in Capita, which has failed to manage the ophthalmic payments service to an acceptable standard, to execute the processing and payment of CET schemes within expected timescales for the second year running, and to manage and process Performers List and GOS contract applications. 

In light of these failures, the Optical Confederation has formally requested that unless a “cast iron guarantee” be provided by the end of the financial year (April 2018) that the backlog of payment issues will be resolved by the end of June and that the service will be operating at the required standard by that point, then the contract should be taken away from Capita. The Optical Confederation recognise that this would involve significant upheaval, but nevertheless believe that it would be in their members’ best interests.  

The letter is signed by the Chief Executives of Optical Confederation member bodies, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the Association of Optometrists (AOP), the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) and the Clinical Director of the LOC Support Unit (LOCSU).   

You can read the full letter here.


Notes to editors:

For further information please contact james@fodo.com or call 020 7298 5125

The Optical Confederation represents the 13,000 optometrists, 6,000 dispensing opticians, 7,000 optical businesses and 45,000 ancillary staff in the UK, who provide high quality and accessible eye care services to the whole population. The Confederation is a coalition of the five optical representative bodies: the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM), the Association of Optometrists (AOP), the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) and the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO). The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) is the link between the national professional optical bodies of the Optical Confederation and local opticians and optometrists.