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You may have seen reports from the BBC and other media this week regarding the planned registered list validation exercise and the involvement of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority. This anti-GP rhetoric – to hide the failure of NHS England commissioned PCSE/Capita to do regular list validation in recent years – is unacceptable and undermines the morale of hard-working practices.

“Therefore we should be wary about the term ‘ghost patients’

There are many reasons why the number of patients registered with a GP practice may not reflect official population data. Therefore we should be wary about the term ‘ghost patients’, as this will be offensive to the many patients who could be contacted as part of this process and have real healthcare needs.

Data checks on practice lists is currently the responsibility of Capita, which we know has overseen a litany of failures in its running of back office functions for the NHS. Practices will be doing all they can to engage with this process (as has been the case in the past).

It is vital that any list revalidation exercise is done responsibly, as there is a risk that patients could be removed from lists for not receiving or responding to a letter.

June 2019

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