Remploy loses inspection contracts after years of concerns over performance – By John Pring
A discredited US company that earns hundreds of millions of pounds a year through benefit assessment and employment support contracts has lost the right to run large parts of a care inspection scheme, following repeated concerns about its performance.
Maximus, which has been running three of the four regional Experts by Experience (ExE) schemes since 2016, has lost out in a lengthy bidding process to a consortium headed by a UK charity.
The ExE scheme uses disabled people, family carers, and other people with experience of using services to provide expert input into Care Quality Commission (CQC) health and social care inspections across England.
Three of the ExE regional schemes are currently managed by Remploy, the disability employment business which was previously owned by the government but is now mostly owned by Maximus.
But Remploy/Maximus is now about to lose all its ExE contracts, with a new single national contract worth £11.4 million over three years awarded instead to a consortium headed by the charity Choice Support, which currently runs the other regional contract and will take over the whole scheme from 1 April.
Choice Support will be working with organisations representing local communities, including small social enterprises and user-led organisations. There had always been concerns about the decision in late 2015 to award the three regional contracts to an organisation mostly owned by Maximus, which already had a huge chunk of Department for Work and Pensions contracts and had a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud in the US.