Thames Ambulance Service Ltd (TASL) was commissioned in 2017 to provide Non-Emergency Patient Transfer Services (NEPTS) for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR). The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently carried out an inspection of the service on 23 October 2018; its report, published in February 2019, rated TASL as overall “Inadequate”.
NHS England and the CQC are undertaking enhanced monitoring of the service through local quality meetings, quality assurance visits and regional review meetings. Immediate action is being taken around the transportation of children, bariatric patients and Infection Control Policies and Protocols not in place.
Over the period of the contract Healthwatch Rutland has received feedback from patients regarding problems with eligibility and delays in transport, and continues to be very concerned about the service. A recent report from a partner organisation in LLR, has highlighted that eligible patients requiring special care dentistry are being denied transport, or kept waiting for unacceptably long periods of time, and this has added to our concern.
Healthwatch Rutland continues to actively monitor the TASL service through our involvement on the NHS England Quality Surveillance Group that is holding the service at an “Enhanced Surveillance” status with ongoing regular risk reviews.