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15.08.16

Troubled SECAmb loses PTS contract

The troubled South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has lost its contract to provide non-emergency patient transport services (PTS).

The trust, which has come under fire for after introducing a secret protocol to deliberately ignore urgent 111 calls, said it was “disappointed” that its bid to run the PTS beyond April 2017 was unsuccessful.

The new contract, which will last for five years, will instead be taken over by South Central Ambulance Service.

SECAmb had been awarded the PTS contract by NHS Surrey and Surrey County Council in June 2012. A spokesperson for the trust said: “This news sadly sees the end of SECAmb 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 be also working closely with trade unions, local commissioners and with the future provider South Central Ambulance Service in the coming months.”

The spokesperson added that the trust, which the recently criticised CQC for failures in its governance arrangements for assessing, monitoring and improving the quality of services,  had ensured its bid would allow SECAmb to “build on its current service delivery and provide a high quality and responsive service”.

In June, the chief executive, Paul Sutton, of SECAmb resigned after it was revealed that the trust secretly introduced a pilot protocol to delay replying to urgent 111 calls. Back in March, the trust’s chair also resigned over the failings at the organisation.

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