A chance remark on a recent routine GP visit led me to find that my smear test was overdue and that I may have been one of the 50,000+ women who have not been sent a reminder by Capita. I would urge all women under 65 who can't remember their last test to  check their status when they have a convenient opportunity.  The test can detect early changes that mean this potentially lethal disease can be successfully treated.

Capita is one of a small number of private companies who are increasingly running what were formerly parts of government. In the process they have been responsible for a series of failures from the 2012 Olympics to prisons and detention centres via probation services and disability assessments. Within the last few weeks Capita has also been found to be incompetent in its handling of army recruitment. 

We might like to take this opportunity to consider if we still wish to see the large scale outsourcing of public services. Government provision does not necessarily guarantee competence but at least it spares us paying for company profits and the imperative to pay shareholders a dividend.

Anna Coda