Ambulance workers’ phones cut off after private provider fails to pay bills

sussex-ambulance-serviceAmbulance workers’ phones are being shut off due to unpaid bills, the GMB has claimed.

The union has called on all Sussex CCGs to take direct control of the county’s Patient Transport Service after hearing from members.

Details of where and when patients should be picked up were previously communicated with ambulance staff via a smart phone app installed on the company phones.

But due to provider VM Langfords not paying the mobile phone bill, the app facility is no longer available meaning that once again patients in Sussex are being denied full access to a vital part of the national health.

GMB senior organiser Charles Harrity said “The crisis engulfing Sussex PTS is a direct result of the Sussex CCGs accepting and awarding the provider contract to Coperforma. For allowing a private company to effectively sub contract services to other companies, the CCG must take full responsibility for the crisis and for having placed the patients who rely on their service at risk.

“It is clear that Coperforma’s model of subcontracting front line services does not work, but the responsibility for this desperate situation lies ultimately with the ill-considered decision made by Sussex CCGs.

“It is now time for them to live up to their responsibility to ensure that the people and patients of Sussex have a comprehensive health service which they can rely on when it is most needed.

“They cannot simply wash their hands of this mess. GMB calls on the CCGs to bring some control to this situation and the first must be to bring the patient transport back into direct NHS control and ensure that the people of Sussex have the service they deserve and need.”

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