Medical Services Ltd appalling provision for weekend patient ambulance services, my local newspaper, the Gazette, took up the story. the experience onvolved waiting five hours for an ambulance to come and pick up my wife, Margaret, who recently had stroke, from Hemel Hempstead Urgent Care Centre.Following my personal exposure of
Their report reveals that not only were the company at fault but it is clear that the people responsible for managing and overseeing the contract on behalf of the NHS were also to blame.
It is now revealed that Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group require Medical Services Ltd ( gross profit £7m a year) to collect all patients within two hours. The contract says:
“The Contractor will collect patients from clinics within 60 minutes of being requested by the Department in 90% of cases and within 120 minutes on 100% of cases.”
So this amounts to a blatant breach of contract and if as staff at Hemel Hempstead Urgent Care Centre, say they are regularly leaving patients for up to four hours, this is not an isolated case.
There are also a serious questions for the West Herts Health Trust who are supposed to manage this contract.
Were they asleep when Medical Services Ltd were providing just one ambulance for patient transport and collecting patients from Bedford, Luton, Letchworth and Hitchin hospitals. Or were Medical Services Ltd two timing the authority by using the same ambulance for contracts with other health trusts? Did they allow Medical Services Ltd to close their Watford depot at weekends so all ambulances will have to travel from Luton to pick up patients at Watford General. Great guardians of taxpayers money and patients interests, I don’t think.
Why should the public put up with shoddy providers who flout contracts and complacent NHS supervisors who don’t check up on them?
If you’ve had a bad waiting experience with a private or public ambulance taking you back from hospital you can always use the contact me point on this website or contact the Gazette series of papers to complain. Just give me the details, day, time and wait.
Or you can now go one better. Samantha Jones, the chief executive of West Herts Hospitals Trust, has promised an inquiry after the publication of this blog and would like to hear from anybody who has had a bad or good experience using the patients ambulance service from watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.