A four month review of NHS community health services in Suffolk provided by Serco has found that although services are safe, areas identified as being in need of improvement include staff morale, recruitment and retention
The Quality Review has found that these services are being provided safely. The review has found no evidence that the programme of change being implemented by Serco has resulted in any harm to patients. However, areas for improvement have been identified in order for patients to receive the best level of care.
The Quality Review was conducted by the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, the GP-led organisations responsible for buying and managing community health services.
The decision to carry out a Quality review, led by the CCGs’ chief nurse, was in response to concerns being raised and also the CCGs’ monitoring of the service, which showed that certain performance indicators were not being met.
Dr Imran Qureshi, a GP in Ipswich and chairman of the Clinical Executive of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “Serco was awarded the community health service contract in October 2012, based on its plans to deliver change in the way community health services are provided and the improved outcome for patients.
“ Its plans are radical and while Serco is delivering a service that meets the overall needs of patients it was important the CCGs, with Serco, carried out this review to address the potential quality issues.
“This is our job as commissioners to check that our patients are receiving the best possible level of care.
“Areas identified as being in need of improvement include staff morale, recruitment and retention; a review of procedures at the Ipswich care co-ordination centre; better communications between Serco, GPs and commissioners and better performance from the community equipment store.
“Both clinical commissioning groups and Serco are continuing to work together to make sure the necessary changes do happen.
The CCGs will support Serco in its transformation work and patients can be assured that safety and quality remain the priority.”
The Quality Review can be read at http://www.westsuffolkccg.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/WSCCG_Serco_QR.pdf
The review will be discussed at the public meeting of the Governing Body of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group on January 29 at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds from 9.15am - 1pm.
Members of the Governing Body will be available to meet with the public from 9am.