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Private firm chosen to run community services

NHS Suffolk choose Serco to run services

Adrian O'Dowd

Monday, 26 March 2012

Private firm Serco Group plc has been chosen to deliver community services for NHS Suffolk.

The PCT has announced that Serco, an international service company, is the preferred bidder for a new contract to deliver community health services locally.

The contract, due to be signed in the next few months and which will start in the autumn, is worth an estimated £140m to Serco over three years.

Under the agreement, Serco and its partners will provide a range of community health services, including community nursing, specialist nursing, management and operation of community hospitals, speech and language therapy, specialist children's services and community equipment services.

Around 1,000 staff are expected to transfer to the new service, but their terms and conditions will be protected under TUPE regulations.

The company will work with a range of NHS and third sector partners including South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, a leading provider of community and mental health services, and Bedford Community Dentistry, a community interest company specialising in the provision of dental services to vulnerable groups.

Serco said the partnership approach would create a model of integrated service delivery for Suffolk that would address local health and geographical needs by simplifying services and processes, and using new technologies to improve accessibility and address the rural needs of Suffolk patients.

The company already provides outsourced services including out-of-hours GP care in Cornwall, occupational health services, pathology services and it manages Braintree Community Hospital.

Dr Paul Watson, chief executive of NHS Suffolk, said: “We have been determined to find the very best organisation to manage these community services in the future, to provide benefit and opportunity to our patients and staff.

“Serco has been carefully selected and has provided us with a detailed proposal, giving rigorous evidence of its experience as a service provider and its vision and innovative plans for further improving our community services.”

Christopher Hyman, chief executive of Serco Group, said: “By bringing together best in class partners, we believe that we have created an integrated model of service delivery that empowers clinicians, puts the patient at the heart of the service and will make community health in Suffolk a truly exemplary service.”

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