Serco's systems under attack from the outset
The name of Serco has never been far from the headlines since it won the contract to provide the out-of-hours GP service in Cornwall in December 2005.
Billed on its website as "an international service company that improves the quality and efficiency of essential services that matter to millions of people around the world", Serco undercut a consortium of local GPs, known as Kernowdoc, by a third to clinch the deal.
However, within two months of taking the helm county councillors aired a barrage of complaints, including that some patients were having to travel from Bude to Camborne to see a doctor out of hours.
Within just seven months, more than 80 complaints had been levelled at the firm.
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In January 2007, patients across Cornwall were reported by St Ives MP Andrew George to have been left high and dry over Christmas when calls to the out-of-hours doctor service went unanswered.
Later that month, Serco firmly denied the MP's allegation that it had "heavily massaged" performance figures.
The following month, a poll of Cornish GPs returned a 90% vote of no confidence in the service.
It was then given a 20-day ultimatum to improve by NHS Cornwall, the primary care trust which signed it up.
In arguably Serco's darkest hour, in April 2007 it emerged a young woman died following an epileptic fit – minutes after an agency doctor had sent her home with a box of paracetamol tablets.
Later that year, Serco was reported as finally hitting its performance targets and in 2011 the company was awarded £32 million to continue providing Cornwall's emergency doctor service.
It appeared the bad times were behind Serco when in April last year the Primary Care Foundation ranked the Cornish service highly in a national report.
However, staff shortages were once more in the headlines after it was revealed that, on one occasion, just one doctor was covering a night shift for the whole of Cornwall.
In July, two independent investigations were launched in the light of a scathing inspection report by the Care Quality Commission, which revealed that data suggesting targets were not met was found to have been "routinely" altered.
The subsequent reports urged changes if the service was to "remain safe".