CQC report on Cornwall out of hours GP service raises questions about monitoring companies who do NHS work, says George

Commenting on the publication, today, of the CQC report into the out of hours GP service run by Serco, West Cornwall MP, Andrew George – who referred the matter to the CQC – has said that he will now be referring his concerns about the monitoring of private companies who do NHS work to the Secretary of State for Health, Rt. Hon Andrew Lansley MP.

Mr George said: “Although I am pleased to hear that action is being taken to address identified failings, concern about the alteration of the records against which the service is judged should ring alarm bells amongst NHS commissioners and Ministers.

“If more NHS work is to be done by private companies then integrity of record keeping is going to become more not less essential.

“Although the CQC says that it could not find evidence that the alteration of data had been a ‘deliberate’ act, it could not find evidence to the contrary either. The CQC noted that it seemed that records were only manipulated where they produced more favourable outcomes for the company and were not corrected where they might result in a less favourable report.

“Either Health Ministers must think again about the risk of letting private companies cherry pick NHS work or it must introduce a more independent system of policing and monitoring those private companies doing core NHS work.”

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