Medi 1, a provider of non-emergency patient transport services in Sussex, has gone into receivership, after getting into financial difficulties. This has left around 30 staff members unpaid and without work.

Medi 1 was contracted to run non-emergency patient transport services to hospitals across Sussex.

The GMB union has warned that non-emergency patient services are now nearing “crisis point”, and has called on health chiefs to bring the services in-house by contracting them to the NHS-run South Central Ambulance Service.

GMB regional organiser, Gary Palmer, is concerned that Medi 1 will just “re-present itself to the market in another form”.

Palmer noted that:  “The indecision of the CCGs in Sussex means I wouldn’t be surprised if South Central Ambulance Service eventually has had enough.”

He suggested that South Central Ambulance Service might pull out of future contracts because of a lack of leadership in Sussex. Mr Palmer called on Sussex health chiefs to offer a five-year patient transport contract to South Central Ambulance Service.

The failure of Medi 1 is the latest in a long line of failed companies involved in Sussex’s non-emergency PTS. During the time Coperforma had the contract, three private ambulance companies who were sub-contracted to do the work went bust – Docklands, VM Langfords and Thames Ambulance.

A Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups spokeswoman said Sussex CCGs were “currently exploring procurement options” in relation to patient transport services.

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