It is too early to speculate on the renewal of this contract, but it will ultimately be for NHS England to determine the selection criteria for the future procurement of services provided by it. My focus right now is on raising the quality of the existing contract, and I have been clear that the standard of Capita’s work under the contract has not been acceptable and it must improve. I continue to meet regularly with Capita and NHS England as they work to improve the performance of the service.
I thank the Minister for that response. Several GP practices in my constituency have reported serious delays in the transfer of medical records. In some cases the records have gone missing altogether, with serious implications for patient safety. I would like a clear response from the Minister about the assurances she can give to my constituents that the Government—not just NHS England, but the Government—take seriously the safe delivery of their confidential medical records.
I take this issue extremely seriously, which is why I am personally meeting NHS England and Capita fortnightly and ensuring that detailed rectification plans are in place for each service delivery programme. The improvements should happen between January and April next year. I shall be happy to write to the hon. Lady in more detail if she would like to be able to reassure her GPs, optometrists and dentists on those issues.
At the moment, NHS England and Capita are focusing very hard on improving service delivery, which I think must be the top priority, but we are also looking into exactly what inconvenience and costs GPs have suffered, along with dentists and optometrists, and that will be considered and discussed with GPs.