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Serco penalised by £81 000 a month over failings in Suffolk contract

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1167

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Jane Deith
  1. 1Oxfordshire

NHS commissioners have started to impose financial penalties on Serco for missing key targets in its contract to provide community health services in Suffolk.

The commissioners had given Serco until the end of 2013 to improve its services, but the company was unable to make adequate improvements, so the GP commissioners have introduced fines.

They are withholding 2% of the value of the £140m (€169m; $232m) Serco contract, equal to £81 000 a month. The financial penalty concerned problems with the Suffolk community equipment store, which supplies people with equipment such as wheelchairs and hoists.

Patients have complained about long delays, and clinical commissioners have raised an official contract query, concerned about issues including a lack of equipment and infection control.

Wendy Tankard, chief contracts officer for …

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