September 1, 2016
South East Coast Ambulance Service has lost its bid to continue running the patient transport service in the region. The trust which currently serves Surrey, Hampshire and Hounslow provided non-emergency transport for patients attending pre-booked hospital and GP surgery appointments but from April 2017 they will only provide emergency transport.
South East Coast Ambulance Service said it was disappointed its bid had been unsuccessful.
A spokesman for the trust said: “This news sadly sees the end of South East Coast Ambulance Service providing PTS in its region after a long and proud history. We would like to pay tribute to the dedication and commitment of our PTS staff across Surrey and thank them for their continued professionalism.
“Staff directly affected will be contacted to discuss next steps and how the process will work moving forward.
“We will also be working closely with trade unions, local commissioners and with the future provider, South Central Ambulance Service, in the coming months.”
The loss comes after the Care Quality Commission issued a damming report of the trust’s management. Delayed response time, understaffing and failing to prevent abuse were some of the concerns raised. They could face legal action if services aren’t improved by September.
“We will continue to grow as an organisation while maintaining quality of service.”
South Central Ambulance Trust will take over when the existing contract ends.
James Underhay, deputy chief executive of South Central Ambulance Service, welcomed the news.
He said: “We will continue to grow as an organisation while maintaining quality of service.”