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Serco returns £85 000 out of hours payments as goodwill gesture

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4525 (Published 12 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4525
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

A private firm that was heavily criticised for the quality of its GP out of hours service provision in Cornwall has agreed to pay back more than £85 000 in bonus payments it was awarded last year, as a goodwill gesture.

Serco provides out of hours GP services for NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, as part of a five year contract worth £32m.

It was heavily criticised by MPs earlier this week in a report published by the parliamentary public accounts committee.1 2

MPs said Serco had bullied employees, provided a short staffed and substandard service, and manipulated data to hide the truth despite whistleblowers raising concerns.

NHS Kernow said Serco had now offered to pay back more than £85 000 in performance related payments awarded by the former primary care trust in 2012, as a gesture of good faith.

Andrew Abbott, director of operations for NHS Kernow, said, “We do hold all our providers to account for the service they provide and will use all means at our disposal to ensure this happens.”

Valerie Michie, Serco’s managing director, said, “The report refers to a number of issues that we faced last year. When we discovered these problems, we took swift and decisive action to put the situation right.”

Notes

Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4525

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