East of England Ambulance Service to take over patient transport

East of England Ambulance Service is to provide non-emergency patient transport in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

This is after HMRC issued a winding up order for the previous provider, Private Ambulance Service. The company will cease to trade on 9 October 2017.

Accountable Officer for Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, Kathryn Magson, said:

“We have been working closely with Unison and East of England Ambulance Service to ensure that we can deliver continuity of service at this difficult time, and we are satisfied that the new caretaker arrangements will help us to deliver this as a matter of urgency.

“We hope that returning the contract for non-emergency transport to an established NHS provider will give assurance to our patients.”

There may be early disruption

Some non-urgent appointments may be rescheduled while the new contract establishes.
Chief Executive, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Robert Morton,said:
“As part of the NHS family, we have come together to ensure that patients get the care they need, when they need it. Our focus right now is ensuring services continue over the coming days and that staff are supported in their workplace.”
Tim Roberts, UNISON said:
“We have heard concerns about patient care and staff welfare and so we are looking forward to working closely with East of England Ambulance Service, the CCGs and Trusts to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients and staff in the future.”

Bedfordshire CCG

A spokesperson from Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire CCGs said:

“As commissioners of non-urgent transport, our patients’ welfare is our absolute priority and our teams are working hard to prioritise transport for those patients most at risk and ensure that eligible patients continue to receive a transport service.

“The next step is for NHS clinical commissioning groups in Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire to appoint an organisation that can provide transport for our patients. We are in discussions with a number of providers to understand what services can be provided quickly and safely.”

Patients worried about their transport should ring the hospital or care setting where they have their appointment.