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.