UNISON condemns decision to remove patient transport contract from NHS ambulance trust and give it to a private company

26 October 2017

 UNISON has condemned the appointment a private company, E-ZEC Medical, to run NHS patient transport service in Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

The decision comes just weeks after a private ambulance company (Private Ambulance Service Ltd) operating in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire went bust leaving patients stranded and staff unpaid.

The decision to award the contract to E-ZEC medical was taken by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and NHS West Suffolk CCG.

UNISON regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said,

“It is beyond belief that the CCGs are prepared to take a gamble on a company with a questionable track record, so soon after we have seen the total collapse of a similar service in the Region.”

E-ZEC had been awarded a similar contract in Dorset, following poor performance local councillors called the decision ‘diabolical’ and a ‘gargantuan failure’.

“At the same time that the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust is picking up the pieces after the PAS Ltd collapse in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire they are being stripped of the work in Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

“The private sector has shown time after time that it is incapable of running NHS services. We cannot continue having our vital public services handed over to the lowest cost bidder in the hope they won’t mess it up. The NHS should be run for the benefit of patients, with staff paid decent wages, not for the benefit of shareholders in private companies.

“Not only will UNISON do all that is necessary to protect  wages and working conditions, we will support any of our members who need to raise concerns over patient safety and welfare.”