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If you've needed to use the Patient Transport Service (PTS) recently you'll know that it's been a chaotic nightmare. An investigation was completed and lessons appeared to have been learnt for the future. However, I will not stand by quietly if staff are now put through another round of stress as a round of dismissal and contract changes are thrust upon them. These hard-working drivers who have held the service together have been through enough.

I will be seeking assurance from Chief Executive, Michael Clayton, that he has a commitment to funding all outstanding pension and holiday liabilities and paying all outstanding wages. 

I'm very worried as the GMB union, representing staff, tell me they have been informed that Sussex Patient Transport provider, Docklands Medical Services, will no longer honour NHS contracts despite publicly stating that staff  were protected under Transfer of Undertakings Regulations (TUPE) following the collapse of the previous provider. This is clearly unacceptable.

If you use the PTS please do not panic, but it must be a very worrying time. I hope we can resolve this quickly to ensure services are unaffected.

We Won't Stand By Over Patient Transport Changes

If you've needed to use the Patient Transport Service (PTS) recently you'll know that it's been a chaotic nightmare. An investigation was completed and lessons appeared to have been learnt...

I am very disappointed to see that our local hospital has been declared inadequate by inspectors. It's anxious times for the city and the residents of Hove and Portslade because the hospital has been found to be especially lacking when it comes to patient safety in several areas of its work.

I will be having urgent meetings with the leadership of the hospital to find out how they will make the hospital safer and to oversee, on behalf of my constituents, that the action plan for improvement is implemented successfully. I see the problems very much a citywide issue, and am keen to work with everyone involved to try and bring about the improvement needed, in the quickest possible time.

Whilst the trust board was criticised for its lack of ownership to resolve the issues and inspectors said there was a “disconnect” between the board and staff we can take heart that its services for children and young people at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital were rated as outstanding.

I know that the nursing team will be really upset to read this report, because I've seen for myself when 'work shadowing' how dedicated they are to their job. This report has hopefully been a wake-up to everyone involved in the hospital and I'm confident the issues will be tackled.

It's good to see the chair of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Daniel Yates, express his support for the changes already taking place at the Trust to address the problems highlighted in the report.

For my part I will try to ensure that no stone is left unturned when looking for a solution and that a speedy recovery for our hospital is forthcoming. I will update everyone again once I have met with the NHS team as well as the inspectors.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust Put Into Special Measures

I am very disappointed to see that our local hospital has been declared inadequate by inspectors. It's anxious times for the city and the residents of Hove and Portslade because...

A report into the botched Patient Transport contract has now been released. It shows that there was a whole list of failings in preparedness and oversight which resulted in thousands of patient journeys late or missed after the contract was taken over in April.

It's clear from the report that Coperforma's overconfidence is a major factor in this shambles, however I'm more concerned and disappointed that the monitoring process and oversight in the run-up to the hand-over was botched. While Coperforma was saying everything was fine, the evidence shows that they hadn't sufficiently demonstrated that they were ready for the contract. The report shows that some obvious safeguard - such as a phased implementation and the hiring of a PTS specialist to support the transfer - were not considered by the CCG, but should have been.

It feels like the CCG forgot about the people who use the service and who were to be impacted the most by the failings. My office was deluged with calls and emails from vulnerable people affected by this procedural failing and I will be calling for all of the report's recommendations to be implemented for any future major projects.

Botched Patient Transport In Brighton & Hove

A report into the botched Patient Transport contract has now been released. It shows that there was a whole list of failings in preparedness and oversight which resulted in thousands of...

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