Hereford & Worcester

West Midlands Ambulance Service loses patient transport service

Vehicle
Image caption West Midlands Ambulance Service has held the contract for 30 years

West Midlands Ambulance Service has lost the contract for Worcestershire's non-emergency patient transport services (NEPTS).

Private firm E-zec Medical Transport is set to take over in April 2020.

More than 80 ambulance service staff have been left fearing for their jobs and workers were devastated, the union Unison said.

The clinical commissioning groups that made the decision said the "process was weighted on patient quality".

WMAS, which has held the contract for 30 years, said it lost out because a financial cap was put on the new contract.

Michelle Brotherton, from the service, stated it was not saying E-zec Medical Transport "won't be able to provide a good enough service".

She added: "What we are saying is that we know.... we would be unable to deliver a safe service and ensuring that we were meeting all of our performance targets within the financial cap that was put on the contract."

Unison said the NEPTS had received "an outstanding Care Quality Commission review" and it was "deeply shocked" at the decision.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCGs said the procurement process was "robust" to ensure the new provider "is able to deliver against the contract's quality and performance requirements".

A spokesperson said the process "was weighted on patient quality and safety over financial considerations" and E-zec Medical Transport had been "operating safely and effectively in Herefordshire" for the past four years.

The CCGs were satisfied it meets "all requirements for patient safety" and would deliver "a high standard" of NEPTS for Worcestershire patients, she said.


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