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Suffolk: Review into community healthcare service shows no evidence of harm coming to patients

PUBLISHED: 18:55 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 19:19 22 January 2014

Bosses at the private firm providing community healthcare in Suffolk were told last night that there was no room for complacency as a review into the service showed “no evidence” of harm coming to patients.

Health chiefs told Serco now was the time to kick on and start improving vital areas in the service, which has come under heavy criticism in recent months for missing key performance targets.

A four-month Quality Review was ordered after concerns were raised about community healthcare and monitoring of the service by the Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups showed targets were being missed.

Dr Imran Qureshi, chairman of the clinical executive of the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said it was vital that the review was carried out so they could address potential quality issues.

He added: “Both clinical commissioning groups and Serco are continuing to work together to make sure the necessary changes do happen. The CCGs will support Serco in its transformation work and patients can be assured that safety and quality remain the priority.”

“This is about keeping pressure on them and also supporting them to make sure they do what they were tasked to do.”

Giving evidence during Suffolk County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee yesterday, Abi Tierney, Serco development director, conceded that issues in areas including staff morale did need to be addressed, but stressed that improvements were being made.

She added: “We are deeply committed to the delivery of high-quality patient services, so this review is very good news, but it also highlights some areas for improvement, including the recruitment and retention of good staff, better communication with GPs and health commissioners and better performance from equipment stores.”

Yesterday it was revealed that Serco had entered into a partnership agreement with Bromley Healthcare.

The aim of the partnership is to improve the community healthcare service currently being offered in Suffolk.

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Tourism leaders in Suffolk have teamed up to entice high-spending younger visitors to the county and place it on their “must-visit” list.

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Council tax bills in Ipswich are set to rise by just under 4.8% in April after all the elements are added into the equation.

The Ipswich Hospital Band along with the St Peter’s and Saints Community Bands were able to present the cheque to the East Anglian Air Ambulance after a successful festive period.

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