Health bosses to persist with Thames Ambulance Service despite poor performance

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Health bosses are to stick with under-fire Thames Ambulance Service, despite a poor performance at the end of 2019.

Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions the patient hospital transport service for the county, has said it will continue to work with the company to make improvements.

In a report before the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire next week, officials will say Thames achieved one out of 12 of its key performance indicators for December.

However, it added that the company improved on five of those targets.

The CCG also said that the service’s performance was “generally poor” over the Autumn period last year.

But, commissioners said there were risks in terminating the contract and it would be kept under review.

Councillors called for an end to the service last June and said residents have “had enough” with Thames.

Coun Carl Macey, chairman of the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire, said there was “no light at the end of the tunnel” with the company.

Commissioners will give an update on the contract to the panel on February 19.

Thames’s contract for providing the service across Lincolnshire is set to expire in July 2020.

Lincolnshire West CCG, which is the lead commissioner for non-emergency patient transport services in the county, contracted the company in July 2017.

The service came under criticism from patients and forced Thames to apologise in February 2018 for poor performance in the county.

Since then, the firm has undergone a management restructure which includes Derek Laird, former commercial director of West Midlands Ambulance Service, taking over as chief executive.

Calvin Robinson , Local Democracy Reporting Service