New non-emergency ambulance contract for north Essex goes to NHS trust

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust patient transport service vehicles

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust patient transport service vehicles - Credit: Archant

Patients who have difficulty getting to hospital appointments will be taken by the East of England Ambulance Service as part of a new contract.

The ambulance trust has been awarded the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services contract, one of the largest in the region, by the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) in partnership with the Colchester Hospital trust.

A total of 18 transport contracts have been merged into a single service for the duration of the five-year contract, which was awarded after patients helped commissioners to assess each bid.

The new service will run 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, offers transport to eligible patients for planned and routine journeys to and from any hospital or clinic in the country.

Eligibility is set by the Department of Health, but the service is designed only for patients who have particular medical or mobility needs.


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In 2014-15 there were more than 100,000 journeys under the scheme in north east Essex.

Sam Hepplewhite, acting chief officer at NEE CCG, said: “We work to commission the highest standards of patient care, which includes reliable and effective transport for those who are entitled to it.

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“The contract is designed to encourage continual improvements through a framework which sets the service provider a number of areas for development.

“For the first time we will also have a Transport Charter which patients can use to ensure standards are met.”

Liz McEwan, head of non-emergency services at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, added: “We are delighted to have been chosen to provide this vital service for local patients.

“The ambulance service is very experienced at caring for, and transporting, patients.

“This is a huge boost for our staff and reflects on their commitment and dedication to patient care.

“We look forward to working alongside our partners to develop the service for both patients and carers.”

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