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Independents' Day

OOH firm missing most of its targets

A private firm controversially awarded a contract to provide out-of-hours services in Cornwall is missing almost all of its targets.

The Kernow Urgent Care Service, run by Serco, is missing targets for emergency, urgent and non-urgent home visits, figures from the county's PCT show.

Only 55 per cent of emergencies received a visit within one hour in the peak holiday month of August.

Minutes from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly PCT reveal the company has now reverted to a GP rota system formerly used by co-op KernowDoc to help overcome staffing problems.

The company has also vowed to 'use only English-speaking doctors', the minutes said.

A spokeswoman for the PCT said the service had improved but admitted it had not been performing 'as well as could be expected'.

Dr Mark McCartney, a GP in Pennsilva, Cornwall, said he was not surprised targets were repeatedly being missed.

'We are all hoping for a quiet Christmas period,' he added.

Serco was awarded the out-of-hours contract in December last year, beating KernowDoc in a competitive tender.

The company said the refusal of some local GPs to support its service and work shifts was disappointing.

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