Friday, 1st July – 9am – Jamie Arrowsmith
Following a robust competitive tendering process and evaluation, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) won the tender to provide the non-emergency patient transport services in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral from today (Friday).
WMAS is not new to offering non-emergency patient transport service, currently holding ten other contracts and today they launch their service for the people of Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral.
NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), lead ambulance commissioners for the North West, awarded WMAS the contract in December, on behalf of the Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and since then WMAS has been busy planning and putting in place a great deal of hard work to ensure a smooth transition from the previous contract providers in the region, North West Ambulance Service.
WMAS anticipates it will complete in excess of 240,000 patient journeys a year in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral and they will be based in Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Crewe.
WMAS Commercial Services Director, Mark Gough, said: “Since being awarded the contract, we have put a very strong team in place with vast experience to oversee the transition from the current transport providers.
“An incredible amount of hard work has already been put in to make sure we are ready and we will continue to work hard to ensure we provide the best service possible to patients.
“We currently hold contracts that will see the Trust complete more than one million non-emergency patient journeys this year.
“With this particular contract we will be implementing a delivery model that is tried and tested in neighbouring Staffordshire and we are confident it will be a success in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral as well.”
The new contract incorporates a number of quality improvements following engagement with hospitals, patients and commissioners that WMAS have underpinned with initiatives to help patients using the service, these include:
- Text ahead service, to inform patients when their transport will arrive
- Streamlined quality standards, particularly around patient journey arrival and collection times
- Dedicated hospital WMAS porters to help patients get to and from their clinics
- Kiosks in hospital foyers to help patients book easier
- Brand new purpose built vehicles have been invested in, along with recruitment of additional staff.
Local CCG Lead Jim Britt explains: “Having been involved with the procurement process throughout, I can honestly say that WMAS have behaved in a highly professional manner, which gives me the confidence to say that patients in Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral will be given an excellent service.
“My thanks to NWAS for helping to make the handover so smooth, as we look forward to a seamless transition. Handing over from one NHS provider to another is also cause for reassurance.
“All we can ask now is that free patient transport is given only to those that clinically and socially qualify for the service, as it is a scarce NHS resource paid for by the tax payer.”
Notes to Editors:
If used, please credit the images to West Midlands Ambulance Service.