Probe begins over hospital transport ‘failure’

Bournemouth Echo: An inquiry into an NHS transport contract takes place tomorrow An inquiry into an NHS transport contract takes place tomorrow

AN investigation into the problems that occurred when a private firm took over Dorset’s non-emergency patient transport will take place tomorrow.

Representatives from seven different bodies will appear before the Dorset Health Scrutiny Panel to give evidence as to why the handover to E-zec was so chaotic.

But the panel will also hear of recent improvements made in the service offered to patients, partly because E-zec were given extra funds to increase staff and vehicle numbers.

E-zec was awarded the contract by the NHS Dorset Clinical Comm-issioning Group (CCG) last June and took over from former operators South Western Ambulance Service in October.

However, there were problems from the outset, with patients complaining about ambulances being delayed or not turning up at all and criticising E-zec’s customer service.

Members of the scrutiny panel will receive reports from the NHS Dorset CCG, E-zec, South Western Amb-ulance Service, Dorset County Hospital, Dorset HealthCare Univer-sity NHS Foundation Trust, Healthwatch Dorset and Dorset Advocacy.

E-zec’s report highlights a variety of reasons for initial problems, including the fact they were given incorrect mileage data, which resulted in them under-estimating the distance they would cover, and difficulty in obtaining employment information for transferring staff.

They also claim they struggled to get pre-booked journey information and, when they did get it, found much of it to be “inaccurate and ultimately unusable.”

Their report adds that when the service went live, E-zec received nearly four times the forecasted number of weekday calls and, even after bringing in contingency measures, could not answer them all.

In October 2013, E-zec received 115 complaints – 0.78 per cent of completed journeys – but this has steadily reduced to just 16 in April 2014 – 0.12 per cent of completed journeys.

Healthwatch’s report said of the comments they had collected, two per cent were positive, 78 per cent negative and 20 per cent mixed.

But its report concludes: “In our discussions with both E-zec and the CCG we have been pleased by the single focus and commitment shown by both sides on improving the service and reaching the high standards which patients and the public have a right to expect.”

In March this year, councillors on Dorset County Council labelled the transfer “diabolical” and a “gargantuan failure”.

At that time, dialysis patient William Bownes, 72, pictured above left, said: “I’m not surprised by the report.

“I’m only surprised it hasn’t come to light before now.”

Comments (9)

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9:10am Mon 23 Jun 14

pete woodley says...

Do the public know still what is going on,or will it all be forgotten.
Do the public know still what is going on,or will it all be forgotten. pete woodley
  • Score: 3

9:48am Mon 23 Jun 14

60plus says...

They should have given the money to the local stations instead of private ambulances so the locals could have employed more staff,alot of the private staff don't have qualifications of our ambulance staff that's why they go to them.
They should have given the money to the local stations instead of private ambulances so the locals could have employed more staff,alot of the private staff don't have qualifications of our ambulance staff that's why they go to them. 60plus
  • Score: 6

10:18am Mon 23 Jun 14

Eddie's dog says...

Brilliant, typical 'insider' ****:
1 Healthwatch report said ..... two per cent were positive, 78 per cent negative, ......
2 its report concludes ...... 'we have been pleased by the single focus and commitment shown by both sides on improving the service and reaching the high standards which patients and the public have a right to expect' - yea, right!
Brilliant, typical 'insider' ****: 1 Healthwatch report said ..... two per cent were positive, 78 per cent negative, ...... 2 its report concludes ...... 'we have been pleased by the single focus and commitment shown by both sides on improving the service and reaching the high standards which patients and the public have a right to expect' - yea, right! Eddie's dog
  • Score: -1

10:26am Mon 23 Jun 14

Hessenford says...

This is what happens when profit comes before care.
This is what happens when profit comes before care. Hessenford
  • Score: 4

11:24am Mon 23 Jun 14

Phixer says...

Hessenford wrote:
This is what happens when profit comes before care.
No, its what happens when weak management in the public sector doesn't contain costs, increase staff, etc., until someone has to go out and tender for an economical way to do the job.

This patient transfer service is nothing more than a taxi service but the NHS made a pig's ear of it. If you read the Echo report above, it suggests poor public service management, particularly with outlining what was wanted in the tender process, and ensuring a smooth transfer.
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: This is what happens when profit comes before care.[/p][/quote]No, its what happens when weak management in the public sector doesn't contain costs, increase staff, etc., until someone has to go out and tender for an economical way to do the job. This patient transfer service is nothing more than a taxi service but the NHS made a pig's ear of it. If you read the Echo report above, it suggests poor public service management, particularly with outlining what was wanted in the tender process, and ensuring a smooth transfer. Phixer
  • Score: 4

11:55am Mon 23 Jun 14

Marcus James says...

Nothing will happen
Nobody will be held to account
Big assurances will be made and dramatic statements about how "we are committed to ensuring the people of Dorset receive the safest possible care and that we are striving to ensure the funds that are available are spent in the most appropriate way"
There will be no mention of the useless managers who couldn't manage their way out of a crisp packet!
Waste of peoples time even having an enquiry or probe into this
Nothing will happen Nobody will be held to account Big assurances will be made and dramatic statements about how "we are committed to ensuring the people of Dorset receive the safest possible care and that we are striving to ensure the funds that are available are spent in the most appropriate way" There will be no mention of the useless managers who couldn't manage their way out of a crisp packet! Waste of peoples time even having an enquiry or probe into this Marcus James
  • Score: 8

12:52pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Hessenford says...

Phixer wrote:
Hessenford wrote:
This is what happens when profit comes before care.
No, its what happens when weak management in the public sector doesn't contain costs, increase staff, etc., until someone has to go out and tender for an economical way to do the job.

This patient transfer service is nothing more than a taxi service but the NHS made a pig's ear of it. If you read the Echo report above, it suggests poor public service management, particularly with outlining what was wanted in the tender process, and ensuring a smooth transfer.
It's fair enough to tender out for a more economical way of providing a service but taking the lowest bid is not putting patient care before profit, obviously the lowest bid by E-ZEC was and underestimate of the service they were supposed to perform, this is born out by the fact that they were given extra funds for more vehicles and staff, this service should have stayed with the NHS not allowed to go to some two bit company who are only chasing pound notes, rumor has it that E-zec allegedly lost the contract at another hospital on the same day they took this one over because they were rubbish, don't know how true this is though.
[quote][p][bold]Phixer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: This is what happens when profit comes before care.[/p][/quote]No, its what happens when weak management in the public sector doesn't contain costs, increase staff, etc., until someone has to go out and tender for an economical way to do the job. This patient transfer service is nothing more than a taxi service but the NHS made a pig's ear of it. If you read the Echo report above, it suggests poor public service management, particularly with outlining what was wanted in the tender process, and ensuring a smooth transfer.[/p][/quote]It's fair enough to tender out for a more economical way of providing a service but taking the lowest bid is not putting patient care before profit, obviously the lowest bid by E-ZEC was and underestimate of the service they were supposed to perform, this is born out by the fact that they were given extra funds for more vehicles and staff, this service should have stayed with the NHS not allowed to go to some two bit company who are only chasing pound notes, rumor has it that E-zec allegedly lost the contract at another hospital on the same day they took this one over because they were rubbish, don't know how true this is though. Hessenford
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Mike Pickering says...

Did you go to school in Alexandra Road, Pete Woodley, and is this you, bottom right, third in ?
http://i.imgur.com/J
fQIvl8.jpg
Did you go to school in Alexandra Road, Pete Woodley, and is this you, bottom right, third in ? http://i.imgur.com/J fQIvl8.jpg Mike Pickering
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Patient Care says...

Private Joke Company- Profit First No Concern for the Health- Welfare of the Patients within their Care- These are the most Vulnerable- Mentally and Physically Disabled.Ezec Vehicles in contravention of Health and Safety at Work has No Winches on most of their Single Manned Cars Putting the Patient and Staff at Risk- Watching Patients who have just had Surgery attempting to climb in to the Front Seat of these Poorly Equipped Vehicles is a Major Concern for the Health and Welfare of Individual Patients. As this Company is so tight Ambulances are only using (1) One member of Staff so Vulnerable Patients travelling are at risk. I believe One Patient has died alone in the back of the Vehicle to date May be more? And in a Car they have had a few Mental Health Dementia Patients wander off- Such Concern for Patient Care not!!!
Then Staff Welfare oh there is None- No Facillities to have a Proper Refreshment Break- No Infection Control Staff have No Facillities to wash Hands- Vehciles Not washed on a regular basis. Not enough Vehciles to meet demand- Not enough Staff - Regularly using other Private Companies again wasting Tax Payers Money (Of which I am one) Do not like to see my Taxes being flushed down the Toilet , used unnecessarily by a Company who has No Regard for Patient Care or it's Staff. CQC please get rid of this Company it is a Joke- But Not laughing when Patients are Put at Risk on a Daily Basis!
Private Joke Company- Profit First No Concern for the Health- Welfare of the Patients within their Care- These are the most Vulnerable- Mentally and Physically Disabled.Ezec Vehicles in contravention of Health and Safety at Work has No Winches on most of their Single Manned Cars Putting the Patient and Staff at Risk- Watching Patients who have just had Surgery attempting to climb in to the Front Seat of these Poorly Equipped Vehicles is a Major Concern for the Health and Welfare of Individual Patients. As this Company is so tight Ambulances are only using (1) One member of Staff so Vulnerable Patients travelling are at risk. I believe One Patient has died alone in the back of the Vehicle to date May be more? And in a Car they have had a few Mental Health Dementia Patients wander off- Such Concern for Patient Care not!!! Then Staff Welfare oh there is None- No Facillities to have a Proper Refreshment Break- No Infection Control Staff have No Facillities to wash Hands- Vehciles Not washed on a regular basis. Not enough Vehciles to meet demand- Not enough Staff - Regularly using other Private Companies again wasting Tax Payers Money (Of which I am one) Do not like to see my Taxes being flushed down the Toilet , used unnecessarily by a Company who has No Regard for Patient Care or it's Staff. CQC please get rid of this Company it is a Joke- But Not laughing when Patients are Put at Risk on a Daily Basis! Patient Care
  • Score: -2

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