The new provider of patient transport across Sussex has vowed to ‘stabilise’ the service after Coperforma was stripped of the contract today (Tuesday, November 1).
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) will take the mantle after numerous reported issues with Coperforma’s service.
James Underhay, deputy chief executive of SCAS, said: “SCAS is under no illusion that taking on delivery of this service will be challenging and that we need to stabilise the service before we can begin to make significant improvements to it.
“We fully recognise that this is a difficult period for the patients who rely on the service and the staff who provide it.
“I want to reassure Sussex patients that we at SCAS are fully committed to providing the service that they expect and deserve from the NHS, and to reassure the staff who will be joining us that we will provide them with the support and tools that they need to deliver a great service.”
SCAS has 40 years’ experience, and currently provides the patient transfer service across the whole of the south central region, including Hampshire and the Thames Valley.
Wendy Carberry, chief executive of High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group, which manages the contract on behalf of the seven Sussex CCGs, said: “We are delighted that SCAS has agreed to take over the patient transport 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.”
In order to minimise disruption to patients, the transfer will be phased over the next few months, with SCAS taking complete responsibility from April 2017.
Patients do not have to do anything. They should continue to book their transport as they normally do. Gradually, more and more of the service will be taken over by SCAS.