COMMERCIAL: A social enterprise consortium will replace Serco as the provider of out of hours GP services across Cornwall.

Devon Doctors, a GP led social enterprise, and Kernow Health, a community interest company run by member practices, have been chosen by Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group to provide the county’s service from June. The consortium will operate under the name Cornwall Health.

The contract, worth £8m a year, will cover an initial two and a half year period with an option to extend for another two and a half years.


The contract in Cornwall is worth £8m a year

The consortium won a competitive tender process after Serco’s controversial out of hours contract was ended by mutual agreement 17 months early.

The outsourcing giant’s contract had been dogged with controversy, after the company admitted some of its staff had falsified data to make the company’s performance appear better than it was.

Whistleblowers had also raised concerns about poor staffing levels.

Iain Chorlton, Kernow CCG’s GP lead for out of hours, said: “We are delighted that a team of doctors and nurses will provide Cornwall’s new out of hours’ service.

“They know first hand what patients need, what works and what we need to do to create a joined up health and care system.  

“Invaluable insight of delivering a similar service in Devon will also help strengthen our partnership in the north and east of the county.”

Mike Ellis, Cornwall Health’s medical director and a Penryn GP, said: “We are pleased to be given the opportunity to work with the practices of Cornwall to provide this service.

“We believe that it will enable us to offer more integrated care, uniting out of hours with primary care and other local health services. It should be good news for Cornish patients and practices, as well as the urgent care services of Cornwall and Devon.”