We are pleased to announce that from October 2017, the trust will manage the safe and efficient transportation of our patients to and from our hospitals. This follows our successful management of the renal patient transport service from January 2016 where we have worked closely with ERS Medical to deliver substantial improvements in service delivery and quality.
Over 10,000 patients a month require assistance with getting to and from our hospitals. A robust and comprehensive tender process concluded last month, including speaking with our patients and staff to make sure that the new contract meets the needs of our most vulnerable patients. However we were unable to award the contract to any of the bidders.
Serco will support us to deliver an efficient transport service for our patients by providing helpdesk, reception and concierge services through their existing soft facilities management contract. Since Serco were appointed to deliver our soft facilities management in November 2016, they have delivered improvements to patients in a range of areas including cleaning, catering and support for patients to stay nourished.
“We are confident that our patients will receive a safe and sustainable transport service under our management,” said Tim Peachey, deputy chief executive. “We are looking forward to working with ERS and Serco to transition the service to the trust and build on our success with the renal transport service to make sure our patients can get to and from our hospitals safely and on time.”
Since we implemented measures to improve the service for patients, we have seen more than 90% of our renal patients being dropped off and picked up on time for their vital dialysis sessions. This is an improvement of more than 35% since January 2016.
In our non-renal services, we have seen steady improvements in the number of patients arriving to hospital in time for their appointment, and significant reduction in the time patients were waiting to be picked up after their appointment.
The number of incidents and complaints has also continued to fall. Last year, we recorded an average of 40 incidents per month; this has reduced to 10 per month. The number of complaints has fallen from an average of 19 per month last year to 7 per month this year.
As part of the improvements we’re making to our transport services, we are introducing an assessment process so that our most vulnerable patients are prioritised for transport services, and alternative options are used where that is appropriate for the patients’ needs.
ERS Medical has been delivering our transport services since June 2014. A three month mobilisation period will see the trust, Serco and ERS Medical working together to ensure that our patients continue to receive safe and efficient transport services during the transition period. The trust will start managing the full transport service on 1 October 2017.
We have the highest regard for the staff who work for ERS Medical, and we are committed to supporting them through this transition period. Under TUPE provisions, about 370 drivers and support staff currently employed by ERS Medical will transfer to the trust and Serco. More than 340 staff will transfer to the trust on their existing terms and conditions. Staff transferring to Serco will also transfer on their existing terms and conditions, including being paid London living wage as a minimum.
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