By Max Clarke
Hospitals in the East of England are outsourcing ambulance services to private ambulance providers, Norvic.
The three year contract with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust was announced last month and was the first major outsourcing of vital services to the private sector.
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, has warned that patient safety stands at risk, after the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust signed a three year contract with Norvic, the private ambulance provider.
Public sector union, UNISION, however, today condemned the news:
“We have grave concerns about patient safety with the new Norvic contract. Ambulance drivers aren’t delivering parcels, they are transporting the sick, disabled and some of the most vulnerable in our society,” Gary Applin, from the East of England Ambulance Service UNISON branch.
“This is a classic example of back-door privatisation. Patient care should come before huge profit margins,” Applin concluded.
Norvic, however, note that the contract was awarded following a competitive tender process, and that the contract was awarded to the group on merit, recognising “all the hard work and effort put in by everyone involved with Norvic.”