Eastbourne MP pleased as ‘Coperforma stripped of contract’

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Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell says she is pleased that a controversial patient transport service has been reportedly stripped of its contract this morning (Tuesday).

Although no official announcement has been made by Coperforma or the GP led clinical commissioning group which appointed the firm, there have been various reports the contract is being taken back in-house after a catalogue of errors.

Mrs Ansell said, “This is absolutely the right decision and I breathe a sigh of relief common sense has finally prevailed and others will now run this vitally important service from next year.

“To say the seven months since Coperforma took over this contract in April have been unsuccessful is undoubtedly an understatement, and probing questions must now be asked about the veracity of the due diligence completed prior to awarding the work to this company.

“From day one it was obvious there were serious problems and my office was inundated with letters and telephone calls from vulnerable and seriously ill people who had not made their hospital appointments.

“Only the wonderful professionalism of the drivers, many who were not paid for weeks, stopped this mess from becoming a tragedy and our thanks must go to them.

“South Central Ambulance Service will now take over and this is welcome news, although I am concerned Coperforma will still be primarily running the service until April next year while the transition to the new operator takes place.

“This period will need delicate management and I hope Coperforma will honour its commitments to the best of its ability during these next months.

“Despite this good news, lessons must be quickly learned from this difficult experience so that other areas of the country do not fall victim to similar problems when services change hands.”