With a 2013 turnover of almost £3.9 billion, Capita is the country’s largest business process outsourcing and professional services companies, which in plain English is a company that can be contracted to perform the operations and responsibilities of a specific business process, such as payroll, accounts, human resources, or a customer service centre. Capita performs these functions across eight markets - local government, central government, education, transport, health, life and pensions, insurance, and other private sector organisations (including financial services). Capita’s contracts are many and varied, but not always successful. In June 2014 five of eight Liverpool NHS Trusts who had contracted their payroll and recruitment to Capita in 2012 withdrew from the contract because of concerns about the quality of the service provided.  Then in September 2014, West London Mental Health NHS Trust cancelled their contract for human resources services after Capita proved “unable to meet acceptable ‘time to hire’ targets”, particularly for nurses. At the same time Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust terminated their contracts. In February 2015, it was reported that Capita was responsible for a breach of NHS employee’s personal data during the time the company had been in charge of payroll and human resources for trusts in Liverpool.

In January 2013 there was a scandal when it was revealed that Capita, under a UK Border Agency Contract, had been misinforming people that they had to leave the UK as they had no valid visa; and in 2014, a leak to The Guardian revealed that the Department of Work and Pensions had to send civil servants in to help the company process personal independence payments for the seriously ill and the disabled as "waiting times for assessment have been so long that in some cases people with terminal conditions have died before receiving a penny.”

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