Thames Ambulance service in Lincolnshire to be kept under ‘close scrutiny’ despite improvements

editorial image

Health bosses say improvements have been made by Thames Ambulance Service in Lincolnshire, but add that the firm will be kept under “close scrutiny”.

Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group will keep the company under review on behalf of the county following a poor performance at the end of last year.

County councillors called for bosses at the CCG to terminate the non-emergency patient transport contract in December 2018 after they said they felt “no confidence” in the service.

However, officials at the commissioning group decided not to terminate the contract due to “major risks” if the service was cut short at the height of the winter peak period of demand and have since said improvements have been made with Thames.

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire West CCG said: “The CCG continues to keep the Thames Ambulance Service contract under close scrutiny.  

“We provided a further update to the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire on March 20, 2019 and at that time reported that we considered there were major risks to exiting the contract. Since then there has been some improvement in performance by Thames.  

“We are continuing to keep the position under close review.”

Bosses at the CCG are expected to give an update to the scrutiny panel in the coming months.

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.

Despite the improvement in performance, Thames recently lost the contract for non-emergency patient transport in the north of the county.