Barton-upon-Humber

North Lincolnshire councillors want to scrap failing ambulance contract

Senior North Lincolnshire councillors have called for the North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NLCCG) to terminate its contract with Thames Valley Ambulance Service.

The service provides patient transport to thousands of eligible North Lincolnshire residents, taking them to and from hospital and surgeries for treatment, but has come under fire for repeated failings.

Thames Valley told the North Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Panel that improvements were being made in October and December 2017.

It told the panel at a meeting on Monday, February 5 that major changes were being implemented to improve, including better consultation with staff, better communication with volunteer drivers, new systems and new staff to drive things forward.

However, councillors’ patience has run out.

Councillor Holly Mumby-Croft, chair of the North Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Panel, said: “I have no confidence whatsoever that Thames can turn this poor service around. As far as I can see, having listened to what they had to say today, there is no option other than to terminate the contract.

“It is just not acceptable. I am still getting complaints from residents who are repeatedly let down.

“It is astonishing that this has been allowed to go on for so long. Thames are well short of meeting their targets on many counts and this is unacceptable.

“I appreciate that measures are being put in place to improve but it is too little too late. They have had long enough. Progress has been far too slow and it is just not good enough.

“These are vulnerable people who need to get to and from hospital for their appointments. Our residents deserve much better.”