Headed up by Pevensey MP Huw Merriman, MPs from across Sussex met last week to discuss the next steps for the non-emergency patient transport service in the county.
As announced at the beginning of the month, Coperforma will stop providing the service in April 2017 and the contract will be taken up by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).
Huw Merriman MP called the meeting with Wendy Carberry, Chief Officer; Alan Beasley, Chief Financial Officer and Derek Laird; Patient Transport Advisor of High Wealds, Havens and Lewes Clinical Commissioning Group.
Wendy Carberry assured MPs the relationship with Coperforma is being monitored on a daily basis to ensure a smooth transition over to South Central Ambulance Service. Following the remedial action plan that was put in place by the CCG earlier this year, the service provided by Coperforma has now stabilised. MPs heard that SCAS is already operating in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and will soon be operating in Surrey too, extensive research had been carried out for potential providers and SCAS demonstrated that they were best equipped to provide a reliable service.
Both the GMB and Unison are said to be pleased with how talks are progressing and the CCG are working closely with the GMB to support staff in transferring over to new contracts at the beginning of April 2017.
Huw has been leading a cross-party group of MPs across Sussex on the Patient Transport Service saga, he said, “I welcome the CCG’s work in efficiently appointing another provider, the track record of SCAS of delivering patient transport in three other counties provides all parties with positive news, we will continue to monitor the progress and will hold further meetings in the near future.”