Sussex

Cancer patient confronts Coperforma transport boss

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Media captionLois Wood spoke to Stephen Payne at her home

A cancer and dialysis patient has confronted the boss of Sussex hospital transport services firm Coperforma.

Since taking over on 1 April, the company has been plagued by delays with numerous patients missing appointments.

"I don't think you realise the impact," Lois Wood told manager Stephen Payne at a meeting arranged by BBC South East.

"People can't miss an appointment. They can collapse. They can die," she said. Mr Payne said he was also unhappy and they were trying to improve.

Coperforma took over from previous provider South East Coast Ambulance Services.

Image caption Coperforma boss Stephen Payne visited Lois Wood to apologise face to face
Image caption Coperforma took over from South East Coast Ambulance Service on 1 April

Ms Wood has missed five hospital appointments, including what she described as an "incredibly important" scan to monitor the growth of her cancer.

"I was frightened as well as cross," she told Mr Payne on his visit to her Crawley home.

"I have been left at the (dialysis) unit at 10 at night four or five times," she said.

"Brighton Hospital has had to get emergency taxis for us."

Mr Payne told Ms Wood: "I know you have not had a great experience and I apologise for that face-to-face.

"There is an investigation into what's gone wrong and we are sorting through that as quickly as possible.

"It is taking the whole time of our senior people to put it right and that is what we will do."

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