Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has told a patient transport service it must do more to ensure it arrives to take seriously ill people to their hospital appointments.
Caroline has received four complaints from local people, some of them with conditions like kidney failure, in the last few weeks who have said that the service run by Coperforma has failed to pick them up.
Some had to pay for taxis to reach important appointments for treatment
Caroline spoke to the company’s director Michael Clayton last week, who assured her the service will improve.
“It appears that this has happened far too often across Sussex,” said Caroline.
“It’s fair to say Mr Clayton was uphappy these problems have arisen and he said the company was working on getting it right, and I hope these are just teething problems brought about by a new operator coming in just a few weeks ago.
“But that’s scant compensation for those people – some of them very ill – who had the stress of thinking they might miss an appointment and the stress of finding and paying for alternative transport to hospital.
“Coperforma is reimbursing those affected for any extra costs and this is a good gesture, but better would be to get it right first as this is a critical service that patients must have confidence in.
“I will be speaking to Mr Clayton again in around ten days’ time for an update on how things are improving and I will continue to keep a close eye on this service and how it is doing. I have also spoken to the Clinical Commissioning Group about the issue.”
Coperforma were awarded the service to take non-emergency patients to and from hospital for appointments, procedures and operations earlier in the year, and the five-year, £63.5m contract began at the start of April. SECAmb had previously run the service.