West Midlands Ambulance Service and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust have agreed a two year extension to the non-emergency patient transport service (PTS) contract which will mean a doubling of staffing and vehicle numbers for WMAS.
The hospital trust awarded the contract last month with the new service starting to come into place from this week.
The contract means that WMAS will complete about 22,000 patient journeys a year to Walsall Manor Hospital
Daren Fradgley, Director of Strategy & Improvement at the hospital, said “We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with WMAS for the next two years. We are committed to working together to make improvement to the service for our patients and continue the high quality service.
WMAS Non-Emergency Services operations Delivery Director, Michelle Brotherton, said: “This is excellent news for the West Midlands Ambulance Service and re-affirms our commitment to try and grow our PTS services.
“It has been a difficult few months for the staff who were unsure what would happen. Throughout the period they have continued to work hard and ensure patients get the highest standard of care possible, for which I applaud them.
“This new contract provides both the staff and patients with stability for at least the next two years, but we hope that this will be the start of a much longer arrangement with the hospital.”
Operations Manager for the Black Country, Claire Jinks, said: “I am particularly pleased with this contract as it expands the service that we have been providing to the hospital over recent years. This will allow us to recruit about a dozen additional staff.”
Many of those who have been working on this contract have done so for decades and know the patients well. People like Ray Perry who has been transporting patients for 35 years. He says: “Having WMAS continue to provide this service can only be good for the patients.”
Claire says: “People often forget just what an important role the non-emergency side of the ambulance service provides for patients.”
Patient Carer Dave Phillips has been in the role for quarter of a century. He says: “If you like interacting with patients, this is a great job and everyone is glad that the contract is staying with WMAS.”