DCSIMG

Race for area’s health services starts to hot up

OPPOSED: Frances Jackson is against any plans for Serco to bid for further community healthcare contracts in Suffolk.

OPPOSED: Frances Jackson is against any plans for Serco to bid for further community healthcare contracts in Suffolk.

Campaigners have voiced their opposition to reports that Serco is interested in taking over more healthcare services in Suffolk.

According to Sudbury health group Watch, Serco – which runs community care in Suffolk – will bid for the NHS’ non-emergency 111 telephone service and the out-of-hours healthcare service when the process begins later in the year.

Watch chairman Sue Brotherwood is against Serco being given further contracts.

“They have fallen short on a number of issues,” she said. “We’re not happy with the number of staff employed.”

At a Great Cornard Parish Council meeting last Monday, Watch member Frances Jackson said she was disappointed by the reports.

Mrs Jackson claimed the company had provided a poor service, citing problems with issuing equipment to patients.

“We are concerned that Serco will get to run all these services,” said Mrs Jackson.

“I’d like to think the clinical commissioning group will think very carefully about the health of patients.”

Mrs Jackson has criticised Serco for its service standards and for the £9million losses announced by the firm recently.

Dr Abigail Tierney, chief executive officer of Suffolk Community Healthcare, which is part-run by Serco, said: “The comments do not reflect the excellent service our staff deliver.

“We have some excellent results. Our community hospitals have had excellent Care Quality Commission reports this year.”

Dr Tierney refused to confirm if the company was looking to acquire other healthcare services.

 

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