GMB Fear 84 Redundancies as Third Sussex Patient Transport Contractor Threatens to Pull Out Over Non Payment of Invoices by Coperforma

Coperforma intend to continue to try to damage as many of their contractors as they can before being replaced by South Central Ambulance service says GMB

GMB Fear 84 Redundancies as Third Sussex Patient Transport Contractor Threatens to Pull Out Over Non Payment of Invoices by Coperforma

GMB, the union for staff at the Sussex Patient Transport Service, has learned that 84 jobs are at risk of redundancy as Thames Ambulance service begins a 30 day consultation period starting today, 7 November 2016.

GMB understand that Thames Ambulance invoices for over £700,000 have not been paid. Thames Ambulance has informed the Clinical Commissioning Group that from 7th December 2016 it will cease to provide the service due to a breach of contract by Coperforma.

This comes after the news last week that Coperforma is to leave the Sussex PTS contract over the coming months with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust take over full responsibility for the management and delivery of the contract by 1st April 2017 after a managed exit for failed private contractor Coperforma.

GMB has been calling for the CCG’s to remove Coperforma from the contract for many months due to poor performance and failure to pay invoices. See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases. GMB also identified that John Porter, chairman of Coperforma, was involved with the Panama Papers leak.

Gary Palmer GMB Organiser said, “GMB has been raising its misgivings over the ever-increasing financial behaviour of Coperfoma for months, and now it seems that despite the good news they are to leave the Sussex contract, they intend to continue to try to damage as many of their contractors as they can before being replaced by South Central Ambulance service.

Once again it will be Ambulance staff, GMB members and Patients who now have to suffer if as expected Thames carry out their intention and notice to quit the failed Coperforma contract over the failure to pay them around £700,000.

If it’s as suggested that there were to be financial incentives to ensure a smooth and managed transition, we would suggest that Coperforma have already failed and I hope the CCG will not waste any more public money on handing such an unprofessional organisation anything but a notice to immediately quit Sussex for good.

We will be speaking to the CCG as soon as possible to seek assurances that they will intervene and make payments to Thames Ambulance to ensure that they can have the confidence to continue working for the benefits of Sussex patients in the knowledge that invoices will be paid in a timely fashion. Or, if Thames remove themselves from provision as they threaten to do, they will move to further protect these Ambulance professionals similarly to Docklands staff who found themselves without work as a result of Coperforma’s failures to pay invoices on time or at all.”

 

Source: GMB