Private firm Serco has officially taken over the running of Suffolk’s community health services from today (1 October 2012).
Together with its partners, Serco will provide a range of NHS services delivered under the name ‘Suffolk Community Healthcare’ including: community nursing, specialist nursing, community hospitals, speech and language therapy and specialist children’s services, under a three-year contract.
The firm plans to develop a new model of integrated service delivery for Suffolk and hopes to boost the face-to-face time clinicians spend with their patients by around a quarter.
Services are also expected to be co-ordinated from a single centre, with patient records available at the point of care 24 hours a day.
Paul Forden, Managing Director of Clinical Services for Serco, said the company has been working “extremely hard” to ensure the staff and services transfer “smoothly”.
“We are delighted that our contract to deliver NHS community healthcare across Suffolk has now started and look forward to working with our partners to provide a service of which the county can be proud,” said Forden.
“Through investment, the introduction of new technology and close partnership working, we believe we can deliver a truly exemplary service which will bring real benefits to the county’s 600,000 population.”