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