Serco takeover of NHS pathology labs ‘led to clinical and financial failures’
The takeover of the NHS‘s biggest pathology laboratories by the multinational Serco has led to a series of clinical and financial failures and saw London hospitals being forced to lend money to the company, it has emerged.
GSTS Pathology, a joint venture between Serco and King’s College and St Thomas’ hospitals, described itself as “an exemplar of public private partnership in the health sector”, when it took over the hospitals’ pathology services in 2009 – deals worth £800m over the next decade.
But documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Corporate Watch, a not-for-profit research group, detail 400 clinical incidents in 2011 – including losing and mislabelling samples – at GSTS’s St Thomas’ labs. The service exceeded the agreed monthly turnaround times for tests 46 times in 2011, with critical risk levels breached 14 times.
Randeep Ramesh | The Guardian | 30th September 2012
Police officers pocket £24m of bonuses ‘just for doing their jobs’
SCOTLAND’S cash-strapped police forces have paid out almost £24 million in bonuses to officers since the start of the recession, new figures have revealed.
The vast majority were paid to officers below superintendent rank at Strathclyde, Scotland’s largest force, who have received £22.2m since April 2008.
Jobs which have merited special rewards have included clearing snow, attending the scene of a car accident, and duties as vague as “working on a police operation”, according to a Freedom of Information response
Sam Walker | The Scotsman | 2nd October 2012
Bill of almost £80,000 run up on police credit card
A FORMER police chief executive ran up a bill of nearly £80,000 on his corporate credit card, it has been revealed.
Joe McCarthy, former chief executive of Cleveland Police Authority who is currently under investigation as part of a corruption inquiry, clocked up the bill over four years, including shopping at a French supermarket and a £1,500 payment to a company specialising in luxury car audio systems.
The £79,439.85 credit card bill, which came to light following a request under the Freedom of Information Act, is among the issues being probed as part of Operation Sacristy, the lengthy investigation into allegations of corruption at Cleveland Police Authority which was launched in May last year.
Joanna Morris | The Northern Echo | 1st October 2012