Calls for ambulance contract to be terminated

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The chair of North Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Panel is calling for an ambulance service contract to be terminated after repeated failings.

Holly Mumby-Croft, Chair of the North Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Panel called on the North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NLCCG) to terminate their contract with Thames Ambulance Service.

The service provides patient transport to thousands of eligible North Lincolnshire residents, taking them to and from hospital and surgeries for treatment.

The Panel met with representatives of Thames Valley and the NLCCG to see is the service had improved.

It has held two previous meetings in October and December 2017. Each time, it was told improvements were being made.

At the meeting on February 5 Thames told the panel that major changes were being implemented to improve, including better consultation with staff, better communication with volunteer drivers, new systems and new staff to drive things forward.

Councillor Holly Mumby-Croft, chair of the North Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Panel, said it was too little too late and residents deserved better.

She added:“I have no confidence whatsoever that Thames can turn this poor service around.

“As far as I can see, having listened to what they had to say today, there is no option other than to terminate the contract.

“It is just not acceptable. I am still getting complaints from residents who are repeatedly let down.

“It is astonishing that this has been allowed to go on for so long. Thames are well short of meeting their targets on many counts and this is unacceptable.

“I appreciate that measures are being put in place to improve but it is too little too late. They have had long enough.

“Progress has been far too slow and it is just not good enough.

“These are vulnerable people who need to get to and from hospital for their appointments. Our residents deserve much better.”

North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the NHS organisation responsible for designing, developing and buying local health services in the North Lincolnshire area.

Thames Ambulance Service declined to comment.