GMB protests against Brighton ambulance cuts

Brighton ambulanceGMB members are today protesting in Brighton against the outsourcing of local ambulance services.

They want Sussex Clinical Commissioners Group to pull back from handing the £63.5 million contract for patient transport to Hampshire based private company Coperforma, which has announced plans to further sub-contract out the transportation of patients to a number of smaller providers and implement cuts to the transportation of renal patients to hospital for dialysis.

GMB is also asking that members of the ambulance service, patients and public sign an online petition here.

GMB organiser Gary Palmer said: “Unless reversed we will see services transfer to the winner of a cut price bidding process to deliver services across Sussex regardless of the adverse effects to both patients and public coming as a direct result of those cuts.

“GMB want the public to make the joint Sussex CCG’s aware of the depth of feeling in just how poor a decision this is being made on our behalf, and by those entrusted to protect public health and NHS services and that they should be ensuring the continuation of the current professional NHS provider of the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) as the only safe option.

The successful bidder Coperforma intend to further sub-contract out the transportation of patients to a number of smaller providers. They are also going to be allowed, on behalf of the CCG’s, to provide the Regularity Independent Governance, Compliance and Improvement Audits on the service they deliver. For this role they have appeared to have appointed their very own joint site sister company GRCI to provide. So they will be allowed to judge themselves.

“Coperforma further announced at staff engagement meetings that from the commencement on 1st April they are to implement cuts to or to re-define eligibility criteria for the current transportation of renal patients to hospital for dialysis and to do so as soon as possible.

“This will mean that a significant amount of those patients, some of who will certainly suffer from complex problems, may be susceptible to cross infection if forced to use public transport or taxis at a time of most need. So they will have to turn to an already overstretched A&E service to provide safe, clean and supported transportation to hospital as patients and family both have to deal with concerns over arising emergency’s as a direct result of those cuts to the current SECAmb high standards of patient transport provision and welfare.”

 

  • The demonstration takes place from 12 noon outside a public meeting of Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioners Group at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD.

 

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