‘Disjointed NHS commissioning hurting ambulance patients’ warns Larrey Society

Monday, 23 November, 2015


The commissioning of social and healthcare patient transport is so disjointed that it is harming patients, The Larrey Society, the cross-sector ambulance “think tank” told the NHS and politicians today (23 November 2015)

In a report entitled “Patient Transport Contracting” the Society says that the current approach to commissioning lacks coordination for defining a patient’s mobility and as a result the patient is not getting the level of service they require at the most cost effective way for the public sector.

The Society recommends a 6-point action plan which urges MPs, NHS Commissioners, the Department of Health, NHS England and the Care Quality Commission to:

  1. Work together to commission social and healthcare transport needs;
  2. Centralise bookings in each region which recognise changes in requirements and describes patients in the same way;
  3. Standardise eligibility criteria which is fair and transparent,  issued centrally and mandated all NHS organisations;
  4. Allow patients manage their own travel budgets so that they can take ownership on the cost of their travel and make the most use of existing transport services;
  5. Establish standardised specifications and key performance indicators centrally which should link into the CQC measurements and standards. Any KPIs should be applicable to NHS and non-NHS provider equally and should have a mandatory requirement of CQC registration;
  6. Manage contracts between all parties, regularly checking activity, mobility and performance to ensure that the quality of service the patient receives reflects the care which they receive in healthcare facilities.

A spokesman for The Larrey Society said:  “The commissioning concept has merit and is a practical way to manage the NHS budget but in practice no one seems to like it – doctors complain that it is eroding their patient time, the unions are concerned about conflicts of interest and ambulance providers say the tendering process is inefficient and unworkable”.

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