Lincolnshire

Health bosses threaten to terminate Thames Ambulance contract

Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group threatened to cancel Thames Ambulance Service’s non-emergency patient transport contract if improvements were not made.

In a report that will go before the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire next week, the CCG said that a better performance is needed from the service by the end of March.

The CCG has already imposed fines on Thames for not meeting performance targets and asked to see an improvement from the service in the coming months.

The report said: “LWCCG has made it clear to TASL that it will consider exiting the contract if the required improvements in the remedial action plan are not made by the end of March.

“This decision will not be taken lightly and will have due regard to improvements made by TASL, the potential for them sustain performance and delivery at the required level, the impact on staff, and the disruption that would be caused by a potential change to a new provider.

“In making a decision to exit the contract and appoint a new provider or providers, the CCGs would need to have due regard to procurement law and guidance.”

Thames Ambulance Service won the contract from Lincolnshire West CCG to provide non-emergency transport in the county in July 2017.

Complaints from both staff and patients using Thames forced the CCG to implement a remedial action plan at the company in order to improve its performance.

These included patients waiting as long as four hours to be picked up from hospital, people being late to appointments and users of Thames not knowing how to lodge formal complaints to the company.

Thames has since appointed a new chief executive, Derek Laird, and interim-manager Mike Casey apologised for the service’s performance in February.

Representatives from Lincolnshire West CCG will be grilled by Health Scrutiny of Lincolnshire panel members about Thame’s performance on Wednesday, March 21.