Sussex MP’s attend meeting to discuss patient transport

Sarah Green June 11, 2016

Last week Sussex MPs, met senior management representatives from the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)and the Managing Director of Coperforma to discuss what is being done to improve patient transport services in the county.

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven
Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven

Simon Kirby MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven says he had received many complaints from constituents about the service since Coperforma took over the service from SECAmb in April this year.

MPs at the meeting were very concerned as two months on, constituents were still contacting them about missing operations, hospital appointments and waiting for hours in hospital reception areas to return home due to patient transport problems.

CCG senior managers told the MPs that they have been working closely with Coperforma to establish the cause of the problems since taking over patient transport for Sussex in April.

They are currently awaiting the results of an independent report to investigate the handover problems. However, they also recognise that urgent action is needed and have already agreed an improvement plan with Coperforma which is being reviewed on a weekly basis.

The CCG has demanded that Coperforma reaches their target of ensuring that 95% of patients are transported to and from appointments on time by the end of June. They are also already consulting with all Sussex CCGs and providers on possible alternative plans should Coperforma not reach this target.

Speaking after the meeting, Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven, said: “I am pleased that the CCGs and Coperforma agreed to this meeting with Sussex MPs which was very productive. I am looking forward to seeing an improvement to the service and to meeting again at the beginning of July.”

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove & Portslade
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove & Portslade

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove & Portslade, added: “It’s unconscionable that elderly and potentially vulnerable people are being so badly let down in a city that takes pride in its tolerant and caring outlook. We must do whatever it takes to get this service back on track and once it is figure out how on earth the contract was awarded to a company so comprehensively incapable of doing what it’s paid for.”