Investigation: Clinical correspondence handling at NHS Shared Business Services

NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) was commissioned by NHS England to attempt to trace and redirect correspondence intended for a patient’s GP, but which was initially sent by the originating sender to the wrong GP practice. This service was limited to three geographical areas – North East London, the South West of England and the East Midlands – and was delivered as part of the Primary Care Support Service SBS provided for NHS England. SBS is a joint enterprise between the Department of Health and the private company, Sopra Steria.

In July 2016, it was announced that SBS had found undelivered NHS correspondence. The correspondence had not been forwarded and had been stored by NHS SBS. In February 2017 the Secretary of State for Health confirmed that the National Audit Office was carrying out an investigation.

This investigation will set out:

  • Details of the incident; and
  • The action taken by NHS SBS and NHS England to investigate, understand and rectify the problem, including the work of the National Incident Team set up by NHS England.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern please use our contact form.