NHS commissioners in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have announced their preferred bidder for non-emergency patient transport services (NEPTS).
Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL) is the preferred bidder to deliver a service that has been commissioned to provide high quality, dignified and safe NEPTS to patients, ensuring all eligible patients are able to travel to and from the community or acute health setting in a timely way which does not have an adverse impact on their medical condition.
The new service has been commissioned by the three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in LLR – West Leicestershire, East Leicestershire and Rutland and Leicester City.
TASL is part of the Thames Group which has 30-years’ experience of delivering patient transport services has secured the 5 year contract worth £28 million and will take over from Arriva on 1 October 2017.
Over 160,000 non-emergency medical transport journeys are made each year across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, mainly for patient attending outpatient appointments and receiving renal dialysis.
Tamsin Hooton, who is Director of Urgent and Emergency Care for all three CCGs said: “We are really pleased to announce our preferred bidder after going through a very robust procurement process which involved patients, carers and staff.
“TASL has considerable experience of working with healthcare partners and is committed to improving services in partnership with all stakeholders, building community with service users and their families.
“We know that the ways in which non-emergency patient transport services are provided impacts on people’s lives and their ability to keep well particularly frail and older people. We look forward to working with TASL to ensure that the whole service is person-centred and improves the patient experience from the point of first contact when the booking is made, through to pick-up, relationship of the driver with the patient, journey to the appointment, to getting ready for and returning home.”
Lee Barham is the TASL Chief Operating Officer said: “TASL is delighted to have been chosen to provide the NEPTS service to patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and pride ourselves on a patient centric ethos across the whole company. We look forward to providing patients with a service that is tailored to meet their personal health needs and which is caring, safe and reliable.
Graham Briggs TASL Director of Corporate Services and HR said “We look forward to meeting with the staff who will be joining us in October. TASL is committed to providing patients with the care and support they need and we do this through the professionalism of the staff we employ. We seek to cooperate fully with Arriva, its staff and their representatives, to ensure a smooth transfer with as little change as possible. Our ambition is to maintain staff morale, and their knowledge, skills and commitment to the patients they serve.
In the period of time before the change in service provider comes into effect the CCGs will work with the current provider Arriva to ensure a smooth transition for patients and staff. The CCGs will also hold local engagement sessions for patients so they can be assured about the future of the service.