The Provision Of The Out-Of-Hours GP Service In Cornwall
HC 471, Fifteenth Report of Session 2013-14 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'The Provision Of The Out-Of-Hours GP Service In Cornwall (HC 471)' examines how the public had to rely on whistleblowers to discover that the out-of-hours GP service in Cornwall, provided by private contractor Serco, was short-staffed and substandard, and that service data was being manipulated, making the company's performance look better than it was.
Serco responded in a bullying and heavy-handed style, inhibiting staff from revealing the real facts. The contractor launched their own internal investigations to identify the whistleblowers, and went so far as to search employees' lockers. Data was falsified on 252 occasions with no explanations. The terms of departure of the staff in question included confidentiality clauses, but again without explanations.
The quality of the service Serco is providing in Cornwall fell short of national quality standards and declined significantly following the introduction in May 2012 of NHS Pathways, the new computer-based system for answering calls from patients.
The Primary Care Trust was deeply ineffective in managing Serco's performance, and made some bonus payments despite the fact Serco's performance was falling well short of what was required. Even when it knew that Serco staff had massaged the figures, the Trust did not fine the contractor or terminate the contract.
The failures in this contract matter because the NHS will be making increasing use of private and voluntary providers to deliver NHS services. The NHS must learn the lessons from this failure and ensure a step change in performance.
The new clinical commissioning groups will need access to adequate procurement skills and advice to ensure contracts are well-designed, and secure value for money for the taxpayer.
|Format||Paperback||Published||11 Jul 2013|
|Availability||Colour copy: 3 - 5 days||Delivery||Delivery options and charges|
Find similar publications here:
- Business and Management
- Medical > Pharmaceutical
- Society > Legislation - UK, England & Wales > House of Commons Papers
- Society > Parliamentary > Select Committees
- Society > Legislation - UK, England & Wales > Commons Select Committees
- Legislation - UK, England & Wales > Commons Select Committees > Public Accounts Committee