Patient transport service transfer slammed as 'diabolical'

Patient transport service transfer slammed as 'diabolical'

‘DIABOLICAL’: An E-zec ambulance outside Basepoint business centre on the Bournemouth airport site

CRITICAL: Councillor Ros Kayes

POINTS MADE: Jane Pike, director of service delivery at NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

ON COUNCIL: Janet Dover

'SAD' Renal patient Neil Murray

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

THE transfer of a patient transport service to a private company has come under a stinging attack from councillors who have labelled the process ‘diabolical’ and a ‘gargantuan failure’.

Patients due to visit hospitals for vital procedures such as chemotherapy and dialysis were not picked up or arrived late for treatments after a catalogue of errors in the transfer of Dorset’s non-emergency transport service, a committee of councillors has been told.

And E-zec Medical’s operations have also been slated in a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The company was told it needs to improve in four out of five areas examined by inspectors from the commission.

After Primary Care Trusts were dissolved the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took on responsibility for providing a single non-emergency patient transport service for the whole of Dorset.

Deputy director at Dorset CCG Margaret Allen told a meeting of the Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee that private company E-zec Medical was awarded the contract and new service officially went live on October 1 last year, six months later than originally planned.

She said: “Certainly in the first six to eight weeks of the service it was quite disastrous.

“Some of those issues sat specifically with E-zec and some of them did not, some of them were completely beyond their control.”

Mrs Allen said that the issues included problems with the transfer of patient data while for the first four weeks after the new service went live E-zec received around 1,600 calls a day, compared to the 470 that had been expected.

The knock-on results saw patients picked up late and arrive late for appointments while some were not picked up at all.

Mrs Allen said that the CCG had pumped extra funds into the service on a short-term basis and had formally drawn up an action plan for improvements.

However, she accepted there were still ongoing issues with the service, saying: “It is true to say that there are still problems and that will take some time to resolve completely.”

The committee also heard from Dorset County Hospital divisional manager for surgery Laurie Scott, who said patients were arriving late for appointments, including renal patients who had to have their dialysis cut short.

He said: “It’s our reputation that is being harmed by this because the patients see this as our problem and we are quite uncomfortable about that.”

Councillor Janet Dover, pictured left, addressed the committee and said she knew of a patient who had struggled to get to a chemotherapy appointment due to problems with the service.

She said: “This is extremely distressing for patients that are involved in these delays.”

Cllr Mike Byatt said he had concerns about the financial impacts of the failures and added that the CCG had to take ultimate responsibility.

Cllr Ros Kayes also slammed the state of the service.

She said: “This is really very alarming when you consider the number of tenders that an organisation like the CCG is putting out.” Cllr Kayes added: “It’s gargantuan failure and highlights the level of risk involved.”

And Cllr Berryl Ezzard told Mrs Allen from the CCG: “You must have known that it wasn’t set up, surely it was going to fall at the first hurdle – it’s diabolical.

“It’s disgraceful and I’m really appalled by it.”

Members agreed to form a special select committee to investigate the failures and produce a report on lessons to be learned.

Report slams transport company

FURTHER criticism of E-zec Medical’s operations in Dorset and the CCG is laid out in a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The company, which provides patient transport to more than 100 NHS treatment centres across the county, was told it needs to improve in four out of five areas.

The CQC report stated that E-zec had “not been able to put in place sufficient staff and vehicles to deliver the service to the required standard”.

It also levelled criticism at the Dorset CCG, which awarded the contract, saying that it had not given E-zec accurate information on the workload.

The inspection was carried out in response to concerns from the public and health professionals, the CQC said.

Paul Swann, managing director of E-zec Medical Transport Services Limited, said: “We fully accept the finding of the report and are working with NHS Dorset CCG to meet the CQC’s recommendations.”

Jane Pike, director of service delivery at NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We recognise the point raised in the Care Quality Commission report regarding incorrect information on the number of pick-ups given to E-zec Medical during the tender process.

“The data we used to inform the tender document was provided to us from various local health and transport organisations.

“Every effort was made to gather and check the information, however the inaccuracies happened because of inconsistencies in the way that data had been recorded by the organisations who supplied it to us.

“We apologise for this oversight and continue to work closely with E-zec Medical to make improvements to the service.”

E-zec was told to make improvements in four areas – care and welfare of people who use services, requirements relating to workers, staffing and complaints. The only area where standards were met was in records.

Patients who were let down by the service said they were not surprised by the outcome of the report.

Dialysis patient William Bownes, 72, said: “I’m not surprised by the report, I’m only surprised it hasn’t come to light before now.”

Issues being resolved

MANAGING director of E-zec Medical Services Limited Paul Swann has acknowledged that there were ‘initial issues’ with the delivery of the service but insists work is ongoing to achieve ‘steady improvements.

He said: “We recognise the concerns raised by the Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee and acknowledge there were initial issues which affected services.

“We have continued to work closely with the CCG and other partners, and are undertaking an improvement plan which will bring about steady improvements.”

‘Sad’ to see long delay

A RENAL patient who knows the value of reliable transport to dialysis appointments said it was ‘sad’ to see patients facing delays or not being picked up.

Neil Murray, 47, said he was lucky to have been able to make arrangements to travel to Dorset County Hospital for his regular appointments but he knew of many, particularly elderly, patients who were reliant on the non-emergency transport service and were currently being let down.

He said: “These are already people with illnesses and to have to deal with something like this is pretty bad.”

Neil, from Bovington, said he had been told by staff at the renal unit that they had sent off reports on the many occasions that transport issues had impacted on services but they had not got any feedback.

He said: “Having an illness like this is one thing but to have this added to that it really is bad and it does get you down.

“Some of these people are in their 80s and when you come off a four-hour treatment all you want to do is go home.

“These people are having to hang around for an hour or sometimes their transport doesn’t even turn up. It’s pretty sad.”

Neil, a member of the Dorset Kidney Fund, said he was concerned that attempts to cut costs and save money were ultimately impacting on patients.

He said: “It’s all very well pinching the pennies but these people are suffering at the end of the day.”

Comments (17)

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7:20am Wed 12 Mar 14

cosmick says...

People dont matter, Only cost.
People dont matter, Only cost. cosmick
  • Score: 9

8:11am Wed 12 Mar 14

Westwindblower says...

Good to see the paperwork was done well!
Good to see the paperwork was done well! Westwindblower
  • Score: -2

8:28am Wed 12 Mar 14

arlbergbahn says...

It's all about being more "efficient", of course. And in the world of big bureaucracies, "efficiency" doesn't mean doing the job better, it means doing it more cheaply.
It's all about being more "efficient", of course. And in the world of big bureaucracies, "efficiency" doesn't mean doing the job better, it means doing it more cheaply. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 16

8:44am Wed 12 Mar 14

woodsedge says...

It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it.
It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it. woodsedge
  • Score: 15

9:36am Wed 12 Mar 14

Nomalice says...

The Hospital Car Service, once organised and administered by Dorset Ambulance Service , using volunteer drivers, worked well for years. In a perfect world, the scheme would be self financing, eg. Those that could afford to pay, paid a small amount, those that could not afford to pay were carried free.The drivers were paid enough to cover their expenses, and there was just enough to keep their cars on the road.Problems started, when " the squeeze" was put on budgets, and fuel price increases put pressure on the pockets of the volunteer drivers.It was only a matter of time, before drivers demand for allowance increases,coupled with increases in "front line" ambulance fuel costs, produced a situation where something would have to give.Front Line Ambulance Services,obviously, could not be allowed to suffer, and so the Hospital Car Service had to go.
Volunteer Drivers,proud of the service they supplied, are less likely to accept the the same " conditions" from a company set up to make money.
As someone posted earlier, "It all comes down to money".
It always does.
The Hospital Car Service, once organised and administered by Dorset Ambulance Service , using volunteer drivers, worked well for years. In a perfect world, the scheme would be self financing, eg. Those that could afford to pay, paid a small amount, those that could not afford to pay were carried free.The drivers were paid enough to cover their expenses, and there was just enough to keep their cars on the road.Problems started, when " the squeeze" was put on budgets, and fuel price increases put pressure on the pockets of the volunteer drivers.It was only a matter of time, before drivers demand for allowance increases,coupled with increases in "front line" ambulance fuel costs, produced a situation where something would have to give.Front Line Ambulance Services,obviously, could not be allowed to suffer, and so the Hospital Car Service had to go. Volunteer Drivers,proud of the service they supplied, are less likely to accept the the same " conditions" from a company set up to make money. As someone posted earlier, "It all comes down to money". It always does. Nomalice
  • Score: 17

11:18am Wed 12 Mar 14

February1948 says...

We used to see the St John Ambulance vehicles out and about in Dorset providing this service, using their volunteers. I would imagine there was a cost involved, but their local knowledge must have been huge benefit. Where are they now?
We used to see the St John Ambulance vehicles out and about in Dorset providing this service, using their volunteers. I would imagine there was a cost involved, but their local knowledge must have been huge benefit. Where are they now? February1948
  • Score: 7

1:29pm Wed 12 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

woodsedge wrote:
It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it.
Ain't that the truth.
Can't even begin to understand why core functions are being sold off to allow private companies to rip off the public purse.
Everything from benefits checking (ATOS) to housing benefit is now geared up to channeling public funds to private trousers.
[quote][p][bold]woodsedge[/bold] wrote: It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it.[/p][/quote]Ain't that the truth. Can't even begin to understand why core functions are being sold off to allow private companies to rip off the public purse. Everything from benefits checking (ATOS) to housing benefit is now geared up to channeling public funds to private trousers. JamesYoung
  • Score: 8

2:20pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Abc1970 says...

How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise.
How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise. Abc1970
  • Score: 7

4:11pm Wed 12 Mar 14

sunny1966 says...

Abc1970 wrote:
How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise.
Never a truer word said. It’s actually encouraging for a change that genuine people can see behind this one, and where it’s going. We all agree change can be a good thing, but not at the price of others miss fortunes. There are a number of people who need to stand up and be counted here. Start thinking about patient’s welfare and not what you can save the trust, you know who you are.
[quote][p][bold]Abc1970[/bold] wrote: How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise.[/p][/quote]Never a truer word said. It’s actually encouraging for a change that genuine people can see behind this one, and where it’s going. We all agree change can be a good thing, but not at the price of others miss fortunes. There are a number of people who need to stand up and be counted here. Start thinking about patient’s welfare and not what you can save the trust, you know who you are. sunny1966
  • Score: 4

4:44pm Wed 12 Mar 14

portlandboy says...

"Diabolical service" is actually quite a mild version of the way most patients see the problems at E-Zec. Damned bloody dangerous is my description. They keep old, demented, frail and diabetic patients waiting in the van or at the hospitals for far longer than necessary and their drivers don't get any official meal breaks or toilet stops, some working a 10+ hour driving shift. I have personally experienced being collected from a hospital following a 15:30 appointment and not getting dropped at home (only 20-25 minutes away) until 18:55, not due to driver error, but down to the 'control centre' adding patients to the already manic list of collections, just to save a quid or two.
How can a company, created by people who already did the job for other trusts, under-estimate the number of patients by nearly 75%? They must have had the patient numbers given to them to be able to tender for the job!
"Diabolical service" is actually quite a mild version of the way most patients see the problems at E-Zec. Damned bloody dangerous is my description. They keep old, demented, frail and diabetic patients waiting in the van or at the hospitals for far longer than necessary and their drivers don't get any official meal breaks or toilet stops, some working a 10+ hour driving shift. I have personally experienced being collected from a hospital following a 15:30 appointment and not getting dropped at home (only 20-25 minutes away) until 18:55, not due to driver error, but down to the 'control centre' adding patients to the already manic list of collections, just to save a quid or two. How can a company, created by people who already did the job for other trusts, under-estimate the number of patients by nearly 75%? They must have had the patient numbers given to them to be able to tender for the job! portlandboy
  • Score: 4

5:30pm Wed 12 Mar 14

woodsedge says...

JamesYoung wrote:
woodsedge wrote:
It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it.
Ain't that the truth.
Can't even begin to understand why core functions are being sold off to allow private companies to rip off the public purse.
Everything from benefits checking (ATOS) to housing benefit is now geared up to channeling public funds to private trousers.
I had the pleasure of accompanying someone to a ATOS interview this week. I use the word pleasure tongue in cheek as it was a complete lottery. I must admit I nearly lost my temper on two occasions mainly due to the fact that I had to watch a so called medical professional, run through a check list of questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the medical welfare of the individual, and more with achieving the responses required by the employer. We live in a world of tick boxes and spin that gives the required responses and not the truth.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]woodsedge[/bold] wrote: It's about time people woke up to the fact that private is not always best. If it's not broke don't fix it.[/p][/quote]Ain't that the truth. Can't even begin to understand why core functions are being sold off to allow private companies to rip off the public purse. Everything from benefits checking (ATOS) to housing benefit is now geared up to channeling public funds to private trousers.[/p][/quote]I had the pleasure of accompanying someone to a ATOS interview this week. I use the word pleasure tongue in cheek as it was a complete lottery. I must admit I nearly lost my temper on two occasions mainly due to the fact that I had to watch a so called medical professional, run through a check list of questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the medical welfare of the individual, and more with achieving the responses required by the employer. We live in a world of tick boxes and spin that gives the required responses and not the truth. woodsedge
  • Score: 6

6:12pm Wed 12 Mar 14

1Kimberlin says...

sunny1966 wrote:
Abc1970 wrote:
How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise.
Never a truer word said. It’s actually encouraging for a change that genuine people can see behind this one, and where it’s going. We all agree change can be a good thing, but not at the price of others miss fortunes. There are a number of people who need to stand up and be counted here. Start thinking about patient’s welfare and not what you can save the trust, you know who you are.
Having experience both lots of transport provided first by S.W.A.S & now E-zec I can say that although S.W.A.S was bad E-zec are well I'm to polite to use the words I want to use to describe their non-service. I have several missed appointments Example E-zec when they first started would as per their recorded message which incidentally has now changed would ring you that day before your appointment . So my phone rings at 16.30. Mr ******* we'd like to remind you that you have an appointment at 09.30 at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and that your transport will be with you at 07.30 at the latest. So I sets my alarm and I'm sat there and 07.30 arrives as does 07.45 and you cannot ring E-zec until 8 am and then you can wait up to 40 mins for your call to be answered at 09.35 when I was connected to an operator who may I say struggled to speak & understand the Queens English she told me she would check and re-call me within 15 minutes that was Jan 22 she still hasn't called (lol). When I did eventually get through to an English speaking person I was informed that I was removed from the transport by the controller, but no reason given, what gives an operator the right to alter/cancel or change a patients hospital/clinical appointment? was running the show so nothing has changed. Dec 9th 2013 I was transported to my local Hospital for an 11.30 appointment lasting 45 minutes. I sat and waited for my transport, the hospital rang on my behalf and was told I would have to wait. I rang them at 12.00 and informed them I was a diabetic therefore I needed to eat & take medication, the operator told me that they would be sending a crew from Blandford to collect me. So allowing time for the journey I rang them back at 13.30 to ask as to where the transport was, only to be told "I know nothing about this I will have to find out and call you back. By this time I suffered a Hypoglycemic episode and came to with the staff pouring Lucozade down me to get my sugar levels up. E-zec rang me to tell me that they had tried to get their approved Taxi Contracted Company to collect me but unfortunately they did not posses a taxi with suitable accessibility. I ended up calling a local taxi company and paid £7.50 for the privillige and getting home at 16.15. When I called the following day to complain I was told" Next time take food with you" My reply " Look I live 10 minutes from the hospital it takes an hour and 5 minutes for the whole appointment from start to finish, why the hell should I". I know of a an elderly lady who was left from 12.15 until 18.45 after dialysis for transport home to Weymouth from DCH eventually getting home by taxi. I also know of a wheelchair bound man who watch two E-zec crew go to his next door neighbors house instead of his, He heard her tell them Mr *** lives next door, before he could get to his front door to shout them, they had got in the vehicle and drove off leaving home to call the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. They canceled on of my appointments because I had two one on Tuesday & one on Friday because they thought the 2nd was a mistake?? Also you now have to cal E-zec yourself to organize your own Hospital Transport if you need to go to DCH or Weymouth Hospitals at Staff refuse point blank to book your transport , Yet staff at RBH, Portland and all other hospitals will willingly book your transport. It will be interesting to see just how many Hospital & Clinic Appointments will be missed by Sept 2014? My Guess over 4,000
[quote][p][bold]sunny1966[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abc1970[/bold] wrote: How very interesting, I don't recall ever reading a story like this when the service was provided by the NHS ambulance service. Totally agree with what people are saying, "more efficient" is government speak for "cheap" if you pay for a cheap service you get rubbish service. I feel sorry for the poor patients and the staff, it's not their fault, it's the ridiculous management who thought that providing this service was an easy way to make money. Hopefully they will go bust and the CCG will go back cap in hand to the Ambulance Service to rectify. It is also interesting that if an NHS service is struggling they are shut down or merged, however when the private service is struggling, the CCG throws even more public money at this private enterprise.[/p][/quote]Never a truer word said. It’s actually encouraging for a change that genuine people can see behind this one, and where it’s going. We all agree change can be a good thing, but not at the price of others miss fortunes. There are a number of people who need to stand up and be counted here. Start thinking about patient’s welfare and not what you can save the trust, you know who you are.[/p][/quote]Having experience both lots of transport provided first by S.W.A.S & now E-zec I can say that although S.W.A.S was bad E-zec are well I'm to polite to use the words I want to use to describe their non-service. I have several missed appointments Example E-zec when they first started would as per their recorded message which incidentally has now changed would ring you that day before your appointment . So my phone rings at 16.30. Mr ******* we'd like to remind you that you have an appointment at 09.30 at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and that your transport will be with you at 07.30 at the latest. So I sets my alarm and I'm sat there and 07.30 arrives as does 07.45 and you cannot ring E-zec until 8 am and then you can wait up to 40 mins for your call to be answered at 09.35 when I was connected to an operator who may I say struggled to speak & understand the Queens English she told me she would check and re-call me within 15 minutes that was Jan 22 she still hasn't called (lol). When I did eventually get through to an English speaking person I was informed that I was removed from the transport by the controller, but no reason given, what gives an operator the right to alter/cancel or change a patients hospital/clinical appointment? was running the show so nothing has changed. Dec 9th 2013 I was transported to my local Hospital for an 11.30 appointment lasting 45 minutes. I sat and waited for my transport, the hospital rang on my behalf and was told I would have to wait. I rang them at 12.00 and informed them I was a diabetic therefore I needed to eat & take medication, the operator told me that they would be sending a crew from Blandford to collect me. So allowing time for the journey I rang them back at 13.30 to ask as to where the transport was, only to be told "I know nothing about this I will have to find out and call you back. By this time I suffered a Hypoglycemic episode and came to with the staff pouring Lucozade down me to get my sugar levels up. E-zec rang me to tell me that they had tried to get their approved Taxi Contracted Company to collect me but unfortunately they did not posses a taxi with suitable accessibility. I ended up calling a local taxi company and paid £7.50 for the privillige and getting home at 16.15. When I called the following day to complain I was told" Next time take food with you" My reply " Look I live 10 minutes from the hospital it takes an hour and 5 minutes for the whole appointment from start to finish, why the hell should I". I know of a an elderly lady who was left from 12.15 until 18.45 after dialysis for transport home to Weymouth from DCH eventually getting home by taxi. I also know of a wheelchair bound man who watch two E-zec crew go to his next door neighbors house instead of his, He heard her tell them Mr *** lives next door, before he could get to his front door to shout them, they had got in the vehicle and drove off leaving home to call the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. They canceled on of my appointments because I had two one on Tuesday & one on Friday because they thought the 2nd was a mistake?? Also you now have to cal E-zec yourself to organize your own Hospital Transport if you need to go to DCH or Weymouth Hospitals at Staff refuse point blank to book your transport , Yet staff at RBH, Portland and all other hospitals will willingly book your transport. It will be interesting to see just how many Hospital & Clinic Appointments will be missed by Sept 2014? My Guess over 4,000 1Kimberlin
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Wed 12 Mar 14

_mrbrightside_ says...

A close relative of mine uses this service regularly for treatment and would like to say that despite the initial take over it has vastly improved.
I would like to point out that on escorting her on more than one occasion this is a very abused service. Many of the "patients" often have their own car (paid for by motability aka tax payer) and have other means of getting to their appointments, yet use this because it is "free"..
Also, the report states e-zec weren't told the true figures so are not fully responsible.

Well done e-zec and thank you.
A close relative of mine uses this service regularly for treatment and would like to say that despite the initial take over it has vastly improved. I would like to point out that on escorting her on more than one occasion this is a very abused service. Many of the "patients" often have their own car (paid for by motability aka tax payer) and have other means of getting to their appointments, yet use this because it is "free".. Also, the report states e-zec weren't told the true figures so are not fully responsible. Well done e-zec and thank you. _mrbrightside_
  • Score: 5

10:10pm Wed 12 Mar 14

weymouthfox says...

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys! The Dorset CCG commissioned the cheapest service and the patients are now suffering.
"for the first four weeks after the new service went live E-zec received around 1,600 calls a day, compared to the 470 that had been expected. " So the CCG now looks as incompetent as was the PCT in giving massive understatements to private providers in a desperate bid to privatise everything.
If you pay peanuts you get monkeys! The Dorset CCG commissioned the cheapest service and the patients are now suffering. "for the first four weeks after the new service went live E-zec received around 1,600 calls a day, compared to the 470 that had been expected. " So the CCG now looks as incompetent as was the PCT in giving massive understatements to private providers in a desperate bid to privatise everything. weymouthfox
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Thu 13 Mar 14

DWRK00 says...

Comments about privatising the NHS are rubbish!

Where does the NHS get its MRI scanners from? Where does the operating theatre kit – everything from the scalpel to the computer monitoring your vital signs - come from when you have surgery?

Who researches, develops and manufactures the pills you need to keep you alive? Who made your father’s pacemaker or your grandmother’s wheelchair? Who employs your pharmacist?

Answer: Not the NHS, but private business. £1 in every £4 is spent in the independent sector and that doesn’t include personal spending in dentistry, optometry and pharmacy settings.

And has the sky fallen in? No, because for all of its life, the NHS has been a model of collaboration between the public and private sectors and of course, almost entirely free at the point of delivery.

For well over a year now there has been a vigorous public debate taking place about the NHS, the Health and Social Care Bill and the need for savings.

And shouting over the top of this debate have been those proclaiming that the NHS is being privatised!

The NHS is owned by government and is controlled by the Department of Health (who own the NHS logo and letters as registered trademarks) under the Secretary of State for Health.

It is essentially another government department, funded by income tax and national insurance.

For the NHS to be privatised, control would have to be handed over to a private organisation. This is not happening, or going to!

According to the OECD and the World Health Organisation, the term ‘privatisation’ can also include other policies such as ‘contracting out’ that is, the process by which activities, while publicly organised and financed, are carried out by private sector companies, e.g., street cleaning, rubbish collection, council housing.

This already happens in the NHS. Thousands of contracts are held by independent providers for everything from cleaning to CT scans, patient transport to Macmillan nurses, day surgery to complex mental health treatment.

These contractors are still accountable to the same standards and regulations as directly employed services, but do NOT have the benefits that come with NHS employment or ownership (e.g.an NHS pension).

This broader definition is what opponents of the Health Bill in the NHS are objecting to, claiming it will lead to a ‘US style’ health system in England.

Yet it isn’t privatisation because there is no cessation of control.

Contractors have to fulfil the terms of their agreement with the NHS and the NHS Trusts or Commissioners that have awarded the contract remain ultimately accountable.

The fundamental difference between the NHS and the U.S. healthcare system is how they are funded, and no one is suggesting that we move to a model of healthcare insurance to fund the NHS.

Politicians and campaign groups owe it to the public who fund the NHS to focus on determining the best way to provide services.

Continuing to demonise the private sector will just deter investors and damage the NHS – the debate needs to move on.
Comments about privatising the NHS are rubbish! Where does the NHS get its MRI scanners from? Where does the operating theatre kit – everything from the scalpel to the computer monitoring your vital signs - come from when you have surgery? Who researches, develops and manufactures the pills you need to keep you alive? Who made your father’s pacemaker or your grandmother’s wheelchair? Who employs your pharmacist? Answer: Not the NHS, but private business. £1 in every £4 is spent in the independent sector and that doesn’t include personal spending in dentistry, optometry and pharmacy settings. And has the sky fallen in? No, because for all of its life, the NHS has been a model of collaboration between the public and private sectors and of course, almost entirely free at the point of delivery. For well over a year now there has been a vigorous public debate taking place about the NHS, the Health and Social Care Bill and the need for savings. And shouting over the top of this debate have been those proclaiming that the NHS is being privatised! The NHS is owned by government and is controlled by the Department of Health (who own the NHS logo and letters as registered trademarks) under the Secretary of State for Health. It is essentially another government department, funded by income tax and national insurance. For the NHS to be privatised, control would have to be handed over to a private organisation. This is not happening, or going to! According to the OECD and the World Health Organisation, the term ‘privatisation’ can also include other policies such as ‘contracting out’ that is, the process by which activities, while publicly organised and financed, are carried out by private sector companies, e.g., street cleaning, rubbish collection, council housing. This already happens in the NHS. Thousands of contracts are held by independent providers for everything from cleaning to CT scans, patient transport to Macmillan nurses, day surgery to complex mental health treatment. These contractors are still accountable to the same standards and regulations as directly employed services, but do NOT have the benefits that come with NHS employment or ownership (e.g.an NHS pension). This broader definition is what opponents of the Health Bill in the NHS are objecting to, claiming it will lead to a ‘US style’ health system in England. Yet it isn’t privatisation because there is no cessation of control. Contractors have to fulfil the terms of their agreement with the NHS and the NHS Trusts or Commissioners that have awarded the contract remain ultimately accountable. The fundamental difference between the NHS and the U.S. healthcare system is how they are funded, and no one is suggesting that we move to a model of healthcare insurance to fund the NHS. Politicians and campaign groups owe it to the public who fund the NHS to focus on determining the best way to provide services. Continuing to demonise the private sector will just deter investors and damage the NHS – the debate needs to move on. DWRK00
  • Score: 2

12:28pm Fri 14 Mar 14

slayerofsacredcows says...

Isn't the truth of the matter that the CCG are inexperienced at placing contracts (Inexperienced wasn't the word I originally used). Inevitably administrators are administrators because they have no skills.
Someone used to placing contracts would cross check the data very carefully before putting it out. Then they would investigate in some detail how the various tenders were going to fulfil the need. If the contract was to represent a large increase in size of a company, this would be a warning sign. As others have said, it doesn't always pay to accept the cheapest quote! Implementation seems to have been all at once, rather than phased (Shadows of Terminal 5 at Heathrow). Perhaps the director of the CCG should "fall on his sword" and resign in time honoured fashion.
Isn't the truth of the matter that the CCG are inexperienced at placing contracts (Inexperienced wasn't the word I originally used). Inevitably administrators are administrators because they have no skills. Someone used to placing contracts would cross check the data very carefully before putting it out. Then they would investigate in some detail how the various tenders were going to fulfil the need. If the contract was to represent a large increase in size of a company, this would be a warning sign. As others have said, it doesn't always pay to accept the cheapest quote! Implementation seems to have been all at once, rather than phased (Shadows of Terminal 5 at Heathrow). Perhaps the director of the CCG should "fall on his sword" and resign in time honoured fashion. slayerofsacredcows
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Mon 17 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

DWRK00 wrote:
Comments about privatising the NHS are rubbish!

Where does the NHS get its MRI scanners from? Where does the operating theatre kit – everything from the scalpel to the computer monitoring your vital signs - come from when you have surgery?

Who researches, develops and manufactures the pills you need to keep you alive? Who made your father’s pacemaker or your grandmother’s wheelchair? Who employs your pharmacist?

Answer: Not the NHS, but private business. £1 in every £4 is spent in the independent sector and that doesn’t include personal spending in dentistry, optometry and pharmacy settings.

And has the sky fallen in? No, because for all of its life, the NHS has been a model of collaboration between the public and private sectors and of course, almost entirely free at the point of delivery.

For well over a year now there has been a vigorous public debate taking place about the NHS, the Health and Social Care Bill and the need for savings.

And shouting over the top of this debate have been those proclaiming that the NHS is being privatised!

The NHS is owned by government and is controlled by the Department of Health (who own the NHS logo and letters as registered trademarks) under the Secretary of State for Health.

It is essentially another government department, funded by income tax and national insurance.

For the NHS to be privatised, control would have to be handed over to a private organisation. This is not happening, or going to!

According to the OECD and the World Health Organisation, the term ‘privatisation’ can also include other policies such as ‘contracting out’ that is, the process by which activities, while publicly organised and financed, are carried out by private sector companies, e.g., street cleaning, rubbish collection, council housing.

This already happens in the NHS. Thousands of contracts are held by independent providers for everything from cleaning to CT scans, patient transport to Macmillan nurses, day surgery to complex mental health treatment.

These contractors are still accountable to the same standards and regulations as directly employed services, but do NOT have the benefits that come with NHS employment or ownership (e.g.an NHS pension).

This broader definition is what opponents of the Health Bill in the NHS are objecting to, claiming it will lead to a ‘US style’ health system in England.

Yet it isn’t privatisation because there is no cessation of control.

Contractors have to fulfil the terms of their agreement with the NHS and the NHS Trusts or Commissioners that have awarded the contract remain ultimately accountable.

The fundamental difference between the NHS and the U.S. healthcare system is how they are funded, and no one is suggesting that we move to a model of healthcare insurance to fund the NHS.

Politicians and campaign groups owe it to the public who fund the NHS to focus on determining the best way to provide services.

Continuing to demonise the private sector will just deter investors and damage the NHS – the debate needs to move on.
I agree. The very first area that needs debate is the way in which charities campaign to raise money for research, which is then passed to private companies, that then patent the discoveries and sell them back with the excuse that massive R&D expenditure is required. Then there needs to be a debate about the revolving glass door between the drug companies and regulatory bodies. Then we should be discussing how drugs get through clinical trials when it is clear that the drugs company is covering up results - you only have to look back at the number of fines issued to drugs companies for this. I have no conceptual problem with "privatisation" in the search for efficiency, however, if you want to save 10% and maintain the same service level, then how can it make sense to pass the business to a private company aiming for a 20% profit margin. A much better idea, surely, is to hive off to social enterprises or local authority trading companies - that have the autonomy to make the tough decisions, but which are not enslaved to profit seeking shareholders.
[quote][p][bold]DWRK00[/bold] wrote: Comments about privatising the NHS are rubbish! Where does the NHS get its MRI scanners from? Where does the operating theatre kit – everything from the scalpel to the computer monitoring your vital signs - come from when you have surgery? Who researches, develops and manufactures the pills you need to keep you alive? Who made your father’s pacemaker or your grandmother’s wheelchair? Who employs your pharmacist? Answer: Not the NHS, but private business. £1 in every £4 is spent in the independent sector and that doesn’t include personal spending in dentistry, optometry and pharmacy settings. And has the sky fallen in? No, because for all of its life, the NHS has been a model of collaboration between the public and private sectors and of course, almost entirely free at the point of delivery. For well over a year now there has been a vigorous public debate taking place about the NHS, the Health and Social Care Bill and the need for savings. And shouting over the top of this debate have been those proclaiming that the NHS is being privatised! The NHS is owned by government and is controlled by the Department of Health (who own the NHS logo and letters as registered trademarks) under the Secretary of State for Health. It is essentially another government department, funded by income tax and national insurance. For the NHS to be privatised, control would have to be handed over to a private organisation. This is not happening, or going to! According to the OECD and the World Health Organisation, the term ‘privatisation’ can also include other policies such as ‘contracting out’ that is, the process by which activities, while publicly organised and financed, are carried out by private sector companies, e.g., street cleaning, rubbish collection, council housing. This already happens in the NHS. Thousands of contracts are held by independent providers for everything from cleaning to CT scans, patient transport to Macmillan nurses, day surgery to complex mental health treatment. These contractors are still accountable to the same standards and regulations as directly employed services, but do NOT have the benefits that come with NHS employment or ownership (e.g.an NHS pension). This broader definition is what opponents of the Health Bill in the NHS are objecting to, claiming it will lead to a ‘US style’ health system in England. Yet it isn’t privatisation because there is no cessation of control. Contractors have to fulfil the terms of their agreement with the NHS and the NHS Trusts or Commissioners that have awarded the contract remain ultimately accountable. The fundamental difference between the NHS and the U.S. healthcare system is how they are funded, and no one is suggesting that we move to a model of healthcare insurance to fund the NHS. Politicians and campaign groups owe it to the public who fund the NHS to focus on determining the best way to provide services. Continuing to demonise the private sector will just deter investors and damage the NHS – the debate needs to move on.[/p][/quote]I agree. The very first area that needs debate is the way in which charities campaign to raise money for research, which is then passed to private companies, that then patent the discoveries and sell them back with the excuse that massive R&D expenditure is required. Then there needs to be a debate about the revolving glass door between the drug companies and regulatory bodies. Then we should be discussing how drugs get through clinical trials when it is clear that the drugs company is covering up results - you only have to look back at the number of fines issued to drugs companies for this. I have no conceptual problem with "privatisation" in the search for efficiency, however, if you want to save 10% and maintain the same service level, then how can it make sense to pass the business to a private company aiming for a 20% profit margin. A much better idea, surely, is to hive off to social enterprises or local authority trading companies - that have the autonomy to make the tough decisions, but which are not enslaved to profit seeking shareholders. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

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