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Duty of Care

What duty of care means to us:

We place the health, safety and wellbeing of the public at the heart of service design and delivery.






Our policy and commitment

Our commitment is defined across our policy framework, principally our Policy Statements on: Business Conduct and Ethics; Business Development; Governance; Health, Safety and Environment; Operations; People; and Quality, as well as supporting standards and related operating procedures.

In summary, we strive to:

  • prioritise, protect and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of the recipients of our services, whether they are those for whom we are directly responsible, such as individuals in our prisons or travelling on our transport, or those who are the direct beneficiaries of our services, such as patients in the hospitals that we clean and maintain;
  • design and deliver services in ways that focus on the needs and experiences of service users and enable and enhance service-related outcomes, including the provision of service environments, equipment and employees that are conducive and contribute to these imperatives;
  • ensure that service users are treated with consideration, courtesy, compassion and respect, and that our provisions and interactions exemplify our Value of Care, helping us make a positive difference, including the maintenance of feedback channels to enable effective identification of and response to risks and improvement opportunities; and
  • identify and assess risks to our service users that arise from our activities and services, investigating incidents and monitoring performance and systems – regularly reviewing, learning and identifying opportunities for continual improvement.

Key components in our governance

Our commitment to duty of care benefits from the governance in place across other areas of our corporate responsibility (CR) framework.

For example:

  • ensuring we deliver all contracted duty of care requirements is part of our commitment and approach to quality service delivery;

  • ensuring the health and safety of our service users is part of our commitment and approach to safe and healthy operations;

  • ensuring we treat service users with respect for their human rights and to a high moral standard is part of our commitment and approach to behaving with integrity and treating people with respect; and

  • the materiality of service user health, safety and wellbeing is recognised in our principal risks, ‘failure to act with integrity’ and ‘catastrophic incident’. Mitigating these risks effectively is part of our commitment and approach to duty of care. See: Managed Risk

In addition:

  • Divisional Business Lifecycle Review Teams help to ensure our commitment to duty of care is complied with at all stages of our Business Lifecycle, including solution design, implementation and operation.
  • Our Corporate Investigations Group Standard Operating Procedure sets out the standards and approach to be taken when investigating serious incidents and allegations, including those involving or reported by service users.
  • Our Value of Care is integrated into our Code of Conduct, Leadership Model, annual Performance and Development Review process and Pulse Awards recognition programme, enabling us to define our expectations of caring behaviour and helping to ensure these are met.

Our progress and performance in 2018

We have:

  • made use across our service delivery of Serco’s ExperienceLab – which specialises in citizen-centric design;
  • embedded our Serco Cares programme to improve patient experience – training 3,000 hospital colleagues;
  • continued to implement a broad range of coordinated, mutually supporting initiatives to address prison violence, e.g. key worker training, five-minute interventions, improved intelligence, social responsibility units and body cameras;
  • established a security working group across our Health business to review security and address issues of increased violence in hospitals;
  • actively worked with UK police authorities to tackle increased violence on trains; and
  • deployed our Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to focus on end user experience and outcomes.

Our next steps

We will:

  • continue to support our contracts, Divisions and CoEs in delivering all objectives relating to duty of care, directly or indirectly;
  • continue to explore opportunities to measure and report our duty of care performance at a Group level; and
  • continue to drive a range of initiatives across our custodial, health and transport operations to address increasing violence.