HEALTH AND CARE: Open letter to transport service users

South Central Ambulance Service will take over the contract for the Sussex Patient Transport Service
South Central Ambulance Service will take over the contract for the Sussex Patient Transport Service

An open letter to all patients who use the Sussex Patient Transport Service.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has agreed to take over the contract for the Sussex Patient Transport Service.

In order to minimise disruption to all our patients who use the service, the transfer will be phased over the next few months, with SCAS taking complete responsibility from April 2017.

Patients who use the service should continue to book their transport in the normal way. They should not notice any difference.

However, over the next few months, SCAS will gradually take over more and more of the service.

SCAS has 40 years’ experience transporting patients and, next April, it will take over the patient transport service for Surrey, Hampshire and Hounslow.

It is the only ambulance service in England rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Since April 1, 2016, the Sussex Patient Transport System has been managed by Coperforma – a limited company who took over the contract following a competitive procurement and tendering process.

The start of the new contract saw unacceptable levels of performance, both in making bookings and with the transport itself.

Performance has improved considerably, although the improvements are not consistent across the whole of Sussex and we know that some patients continue to experience problems.

Recently, there have been a number of issues between Coperforma and some of its subcontractors, which have raised concerns about the sustainability of the service under the present arrangements.

Wendy Carberry, chief executive of High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group, which manages the contract on behalf of the seven Sussex CCGs, said: “I would like to apologise again to anybody who has had a problem with the patient transport service.

“We are delighted that SCAS has agreed to take over the service. The managed transfer will minimise disruption for patients. And we can start to resolve the situation for staff who have been through a period of uncertainty.”

---

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.