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MPs accuse Serco’s out of hours GP service of a culture that led to cheating and dishonesty

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2672 (Published 24 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2672
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The culture at a privately run, out of hours GP service in Cornwall was one that seemed to encourage staff to “cheat” and to feel uncomfortable with telling the truth, MPs have claimed.

Managers of Serco appeared before the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on 22 April as part of the committee’s inquiry into out of hours GP services in Cornwall, which are provided by the company for NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

Serco has been the subject of various reports critical of its service from the NHS regulator the Care Quality Commission and the National Audit Office.1 2 3 These were initially prompted by claims by several whistleblowers that the service was understaffed and was altering data to ensure that …

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