Serco has confirmed its commitment to the UK and international healthcare markets following a comprehensive review of its strategy in early 2013. The global healthcare market is a key strategic market for Serco following recent wins and operational start-ups in the UK, the US, Middle East and Australia.
Serco is committed to providing patients with high quality sustainable services, combined with the kind of fresh thinking that our partners, whether commissioners or in acute trusts value and rely on. In the UK, we are focussed on providing integrated facilities management, business process management services and Community Healthcare services. As well as the range of current services, several bids and opportunities are being pursued in each of these arenas, a number of which are expected to come to fruition during 2014.
As a part of this strategy Serco has agreed with its customers to end two loss making contracts: -
Serco has issued notice to end early its contract to manage Braintree Hospital. The hospital provides patients with day surgery and other medical services and is achieving excellent levels of patient experience: waiting lists are typically half the national target and a recent survey showed a 100% patient recommendation rate to friends and family. However, since taking over operations in 2011, the predicted level of patient referrals to the hospital has not materialised and Serco's opportunities to improve the utilisation of the hospital are limited.
Serco has also agreed with NHS Kernow to bring forward the end of its contract for GP out-of-hours services in Cornwall to May 2015. This will enable a transition to a new model of integrated unscheduled care earlier than if the contract period was unchanged. Serco has experienced operational challenges on the contract and has made significant improvements to the systems, processes and resources. The contract is now providing a high quality service that meets all of the national quality requirements and NHS Kernow recognise the improvements Serco has delivered in the last twelve months.
Separately, Serco confirms that it remains committed to the Community Healthcare market and to the service in Suffolk, where Serco is commissioned to provide a wide range of community health services to a population of around 600,000 residents. The contract is one of the first of its kind in the UK and runs until October 2015. Serco has delivered some early benefits such as reducing the length of stay in the community hospitals by around a week and improving access to the service by establishing a 24 hour care coordination centre that provides a single point of contact. However, demand on the service has increased and it is taking longer than anticipated to bring about productivity gains.
Valerie Michie Managing Director of Serco's Healthcare business, said: "The global healthcare market remains one of our priorities for the future, where Serco is well-placed to deliver quality services that can be delivered sustainably both for our partners and for patients. The services we deliver in Cornwall and Braintree are no longer core to the future delivery of our healthcare strategy and we have had to take the difficult decision to end these two contracts early, but this does not undermine our commitment to the healthcare market, which is undiminished.
"We remain committed to serving the community healthcare market, and Serco has already demonstrated that our strong position and leading capabilities in providing integrated facilities management and business process management services to healthcare organisations can be transferred to new regions as we continue to develop the portfolio.
"I am very proud of the work that our people do day in, day out and we are committed to providing quality services for patients that can be delivered sustainably, with the kind of fresh thinking that our partners in acute trusts value and rely on. Where we have made mistakes we have learned from them, we will continue to learn from them, and we will deliver against our promises."