GMB members at Thames Ambulance Service send open letter to Sussex CCG 's

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GMB members at Thames Ambulance send open letter on behalf of colleagues to Sussex CCGs to plead for intervention in saving PTS Ambulance jobs. “Members have been expressing their disappointment at both Thames Ambulance’s decision to cut jobs and the CCG’s lack of public support and willingness to intervene with Thames on their behalf”, says GMB Southern

GMB are today publishing an open letter directed to the combined NHS Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance CCG’s from GMB members and Thames Ambulance staff.  A copy of the wording of the open letter is available for download on the top right of this page.

The letter calls on the combined CCG’s to accept their fair share of responsibility for the financial difficulties, the subsequent announcement that sees Thames Ambulance Service Ltd (TASL) wish to exit the Sussex PTS service, and the decision to make 25% of their workforce redundant, as a prelude to either further rounds of job losses or the logistical transfer of service provision and staff back into the NHS with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

The combined CCG’s Governing Body, which is made up of local GPs and other experienced health professionals, is led by Clinical Chair, Dr David Supple and Accountable Officer and Chief Executive, Adam Doyle. Both have been sent the letter to plead that intervention should be immediately forthcoming and that not only are the current jobs losses at Thames halted, but that the CCG’s then actively support the re-integration of staff and the service they provide back into NHS hands with SCAS upon the departure of Thames Ambulance Service Ltd.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said: "GMB members have been expressing their disappointment at both Thames’ decision to cut jobs and the CCG’s lack of public support and willingness to intervene with Thames on their behalf.

"In terms of profit and loss, staff are, of course, acutely aware that the losses Thames are experiencing are un-sustainable. However, they are also angry that they, as trained Ambulance PTS professionals, are going to lose their jobs and see the work and patients transferred to other private providers, when transferring them all back into the NHS with SCAS could see patient delivery continuity continue as well as their employment.

"It’s hard when asked to explain just what they have done to deserve such treatment, apart from being in the profession at the wrong time. Two years ago they found themselves transferred out of the NHS from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and into the private sector at the behest of the Sussex CCG’s experiment to save money by using Coperforma and its all singing and dancing journey planning app.

"A foray and move that we now know cost considerably more than they expected after a chain of company closures and non-movement of patients around Sussex on an epic scale, before the sensible solution of moving it once again back into the NHS but this time with SCAS occurred.

"GMB are to meet soon with the CCG’s to remind them that the GMB and Thames staff hold them responsible for the predicament they find themselves in and that they need to do the right thing now to correct it."


Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165 950 or Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860 787 973 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762