Around 90,000 missing patient records have already been returned to practices, NHS officials said after it was revealed that thousands were wrongly stored in archives.
Another 70,000 are due to arrive on the desks of practice staff as NHS England and contractor Capita unravel the latest crisis to affect primary care support services.
The revelation that thousands of records had gone astray led the British Medical Association to renew pressure on the support contract with Capita. Previously Capita and the predecessor Primary Care Support England had been found to have stored thousands of letters rather than forwarding them to practices.
The latest embarrassment related to records of patients changing practices. When the patient deregistered before finding another practice, their records were stored in archives – and then not forwarded to the new practice.
NHS England said 30,000 of the lost records pre-dated its contract with Capita whilst Capita was responsible for another 130,000.
A Capita spokesperson said: “A number of paper medical records were not redirected by PSCE when patients moved to new GP practices. There is no indication that any harm has occurred to any patients as a result of the paper records delay.
“We are working to deliver these physical records as quickly as possible and have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again. We apologise to any patients and GP practices affected.”
British Medical Association GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: “Patients cannot be allowed to be put at risk because of the incompetence of one supplier, and NHS England must offer support to anyone affected…
“Even if no patient has been harmed, we find ourselves having the same conversations about a new Capita failing, and it is completely unacceptable that this is being allowed to happen again.”