St Albans patients receive apology for private ambulance fiasco

PUBLISHED: 11:57 26 July 2017

William Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had continual problems with Private Ambulance Service. Picture: Danny Loo

William Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had continual problems with Private Ambulance Service. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Vulnerable people have received an apology from the NHS for ongoing problems with the performance of Private Ambulance Service.

Don and Eva de Marris were left waiting for around 3 hours on two seperate occasions by private ambulance services at St Albans City and Hertford Hospitals. Picture: Danny LooDon and Eva de Marris were left waiting for around 3 hours on two seperate occasions by private ambulance services at St Albans City and Hertford Hospitals. Picture: Danny Loo

It follows several occasions when PAS left patients stuck in hospitals or their homes for hours while waiting for a pick-up.

In June, 85-year-old William Hilton spent a day waiting for PAS to take him home from St Albans City Hospital, and just recently he waited three hours to get home.

His daughter Tina Hilton said: “As always getting to the appointment was very good, coming back however was a different story.

“He was finished by 9.30am and the receptionist gave the transport (PAS) a call. After the initial call, another two were made to find out what on earth was going on and when the pick-up could be expected.The transport finally arrived at 12.30pm.

“This is now getting very frustrating, as not one person [from PAS] has responded to any of my other emails. This is something I will pursue until the journey back home is a slick as the arrival journey.”

PAS has failed to respond to the Herts Advertiser for comment on any of the stories we have published about them - including this one.

The company, based in Basildon, provides transport for patients to and from hospitals across Herts.

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group have now responded to the problems: “We would like to apologise to patients who have experienced difficulty with patient transport services provided by Private Ambulance Service.

“PAS was commissioned by a consortium of NHS clinical commissioning groups in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to provide non-emergency patient transport for a year starting from April 2017 when the previous provider of the service gave notice.

“The consortium has been working with PAS to resolve operational problems that have occurred since the start of the contract and continue to do so.”

Other operators will be able to bid for a new contract when it is put out to tender, and will take over services from April next year.

Patients who have experienced problems should email pas.hertscomplaints@nhs.net

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