Ambulances to be privatised’

THE decision to privatise a significant chunk of the ambulance service across Herts and Beds has been made, according to an ambulance service source. The hospital trust boards across the two counties met last week to decide whether to take the non-emergen

THE decision to privatise a significant chunk of the ambulance service across Herts and Beds has been made, according to an ambulance service source.

The hospital trust boards across the two counties met last week to decide whether to take the non-emergency contract away from the East of England Ambulance Service - the NHS organisation which has held the contract for 30 years - and award it to a private company.

Non-emergency ambulance services include transferring patients to and from hospitals and doctors' surgeries, as well as ferrying vital equipment and patient records across different hospital sites.

The source, who works for the East of England Ambulance Service, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Comet drivers for the NHS organisation had been taken to a hotel in Letchworth GC on Friday and told they had lost the contract.

This is despite the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's insistence that a decision has not yet been finalised.

He continued: "We have been told for definite that it will be privatised. I resigned from my job straight away because there's no way I'm going to work for a private service. I think patients' lives will be put at risk."

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A spokesman for the Trust said: "The consortium is expected to announce its final decision shortly. Patients' safety will not be put at risk if a new contractor is appointed to run the service in future."

The new contract will start in April if it is given the official go ahead.

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