Sunday, 15 December 2013

Serco Lose Cornish Contract

Serco, one of the potential private bidders for Weston Hospital services, has lost its contract to provide out of hours services in Cornwall following evidence that it has been falsifying its performance data to pretend it was meeting targets. This is in addition to its criminal investigation for claiming to be tagging prisoners who did not exist.

This makes it increasingly likely that it will have to withdraw from the Weston franchise, although we do not yet have any firm indication of this. Weston's MP John Penrose, who is clearly pro-privatistation, has taken a hands-off approach with regard to Serco so far, but even he must be feeling uncomfortable at the prospect of handing local health services over to such an flawed corporation.

Assuming that Serco is rejected, this leave four corporations still circling over the hospital -
Interserve, Capita, with its conflict of interest, tax-dodging Care UK and - excuse the pun - Circle, who are getting into difficulties over their take-over of Hinchingbrooke Hospital..

Update 3.1.14
 The Serious Fraud Office is currently looking into whether Serco have been charging the Ministry of Justice for tagging offenders who did not exist.. This may take many months or even some years. So unless Serco is asked to withdraw its expression of interest, the franchise contract for Weston Hospital may be handed to a company who could later face legal prosecution for fraud.

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