Cornwall

Rise in Mitie service failures at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Hands with gloves and cloth
Image caption Mitie's contract is worth £90m over seven years for three hospitals in Truro, Penzance and Hayle

Emergency calls have not been answered and patient requests for drinks and meals have been ignored at a major hospital.

The private company brought in to clean and cater at hospitals in Cornwall has consistently failed to meet required standards, it has emerged.

The union Unison said the figures showed the £90m contract was "not fit for purpose" and was "set up to fail".

Mitie said the scores do not accurately reflect the service it delivers.

The latest figures reveal Mitie was fined up to 60% of its monthly profit over three months for failures at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.

Sarah Woodward from Unison said: "Mitie came in so low when it was tendered that our worry was it was never fit for purpose."

Profit margin

Figures published by the trust show Mitie had more than 14,000 "service failure points" and 60% of its profit margin deducted in September.

This has jumped from 6,000 service failures in July, and 196 in April.

Service failures include emergency calls not being answered within target times and requests for patient meals or drinks not being delivered on time.

The more points Mitie gets, the more of its profit margin the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) withholds.

A spokesman for RCHT said the scores "reflect the detailed level of scrutiny with which we continue to monitor technical aspects of the contract".

A Mitie spokesman said the company was "working closely with the trust" to deliver high quality services and that it had invested considerably in the contract.

The spokesman said: "The scores don't accurately reflect the service they deliver or the good work that their people carry out every day."

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