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Cornish complaints raise questions over national drive to outsource NHS care

Category : Business

Allegations in Cornwall are still being investigated as health services go out to tender in line with new policies

Serco investigated over claims of ‘unsafe’ GP service
Care Quality Commission: the NHS watchdog
Cornwall out-of-hours case study: Eve Tonkin

When the co-operative of doctors from surgeries across Cornwall that ran the out-of-hours GP service lost its contract with the local primary care trust in 2006, they were not sure why, but suspected money played a large part.

The winning bidder was Serco, the private contractor that is a leading provider of services to government and local authorities in many sectors – from defence to prisons and education – but a relative newcomer to health. The terms of the contract are deemed commercially confidential, as is the competitive bidding process, so they are not open to public scrutiny.

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