Socialist Worker

Security firm Serco left asylum seeker dying of heart attack

Issue No. 2305

A detained asylum seeker died after being denied medical attention following a heart attack, an inquest has heard.

Muhammad Shukat, 47, was held at Colnbrook Centre near Heathrow airport while he faced deportation to Pakistan last July.

The centre is run by private security firm Serco.

Muhammad suffered a heart attack. His cellmate pressed the emergency buzzer repeatedly for two hours.

Then Serco staff didn’t call an ambulance but gave Muhammad aspirin and indigestion medicine.

When his heart stopped they got their emergency medical kit, but found the defibrillator missing. They found another but it was broken. Muhammad died.

The inquest jury found that if better procedures had been followed his life may have been saved.

Serco has recently won the contract to house refugees in Scotland. It aims to win many NHS outsourcing contracts.

It is under investigation for allegedly “massaging” figures to reach NHS targets.

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Article information

Tue 29 May 2012, 18:45 BST
Issue No. 2305
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