Ambulance service staff to vote on whether to strike
Ambulance staff working for Coperforma – the new non-emergency patient transport service contractor – are being asked to vote on whether to take strike action.
The GMB union said that the ballot was being held over derecognition, with a consultative vote due to take place at two sites in Sussex from today (Wednesday 20 April).
The union said: “After speaking to distressed and devastated staff, GMB has found no alternative but to implement this further sanction against Coperforma who continue to fail our staff.
“GMB, the union for the ambulance service, will undertake a consultative ballot of members working for Coperforma at two sites in Sussex following the company’s decision to end negotiation with GMB.
“GMB members transferred to Coperforma after the company took on a four-year contract to provide patient transport services in Sussex.”
Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said “After speaking to distressed and devastated staff GMB has found no alternative but to implement this further sanction against Coperforma who continue to fail our members.
“Morale is at an all-time low and the situation is exacerbated by Coperforma management bullying staff to cover up their own failings in service provision.”
Yesterday (Tuesday 19 April) the chief operating officer of the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) John Child said that the standard of service provided by Coperforma “has not been acceptable”.
In a statement shared with members of the Brighton and Hove Health and Wellbeing Board and the public, he said: “The overall standard of the service provided by Coperforma since its launch on (Friday) 1 April has not been acceptable and both Coperforma and the Sussex CCGs have issued a public apology to all affected patients.”
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As a longstanding renal patient devastated to learn how Coperforma AND the commissioning group have stitched up a remnant level service from unserviceable cloth, I support the GMB & ambulance crews to the hilt on this as well as all the now-lost volunteer drivers. They saved the NHS a mountain of money and were/are indispensable.
What has been done to patient transport has been plain negligent, involving a callous disregard for lives. Who did due diligence on this? Or rather failed to?
If a dialysis patient does not get scheduled dialysis the buildup of potassium in the blood throws out the electrolyte balance and if too high or too low, the heart can just stop. Every renal oatient knows this and controls foods eaten to control it as far as possible. Only scheduled dialysis taking it out of the bloodstream (along with excess fluid and other byproducts) allows life to continue unless a transplant comes along.
What the commissionkng group and Coperforma ineptitude did to renal patients is unfirgiveable and cost a lot of patients and the NHS a lot of money.
Give the contract back to Secamb and reinstate those lost volunteer drivers! The new system cannot be made to work and I hear Coperforma know it and are now demanding more money. Proves they should not have got the contract in the first place!!!!!!