Patient transport contractor to lose £60m contract

Posted On 01 Nov 2016 at 8:29 am

The Sussex Patient Transport Service contractor Coperforma is to lose its four-year £60 million contract after a catalogue of concerns.

The company and its sub-contractors have been criticised for a series of delays and missed appointments affecting patients needing dialysis and cancer treatment.

Two of the sub-contractors have gone bust since the start of April when Coperforma took over the non-emergency transport service from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb).

There have also been reports of six-figure sums owed by Coperforma to sub-contractors at times as disputes over performance held up payments.

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The GMB union has campaigned on behalf of members who went without pay for months. And patients and staff have been petitioning health chiefs to drop Coperforma while MPs urged them to have a proper contingency plan in case improvements failed to materialise.

The contract was commissioned by the seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sussex, including Brighton and Hove CCG. The lead commissioner was High Lewes Weald Havens CCG.

The contract will be handed over to South Coast Ambulance Service which currently runs ambulances and patient transport services in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

The aim is to achieve an orderly transition in the coming months.

The Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle, said that he and the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, had campaigned on this issue for months.

He was angry on behalf of patients, he said. lessons had to be learned by those who had authority but who had failed to listen.

Daniel Yates, who chairs the Brighton and Hove City Council Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “This has been a total shambles that we were warned about in February but the system doesn’t appear to be able to address this sort of issue with the speed and competence that patients and residents deserve.”

Councillor Yates said that he would write to the CCG and the council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee with to questions about the design, letting and monitoring of the procurement as well as the implications for future procurements.

  1. Hjarrs Reply

    Will Kirby and the rest of his crony Conservatives be apologising for yet another disasterous mess in their ideological crusade to privatise the NHS? This has cost the tax payer millions and made life a misery for patients.

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