Stage-four most cancers sufferers are being compelled to cancel very important appointments as a result of their ambulances are failing to indicate up.
Falck UK, one of many largest non-public ambulance suppliers to the NHS, is repeatedly failing to choose up sufferers for appointments or leaving them ready for hours to be taken house after gruelling therapy.
NHS sources on the Royal Marsden in West London, a number one most cancers hospital, mentioned that its ambulance system was in ‘chaos’ after being outsourced to Falck.
David Silver, who has stage-four most cancers, mentioned he has needed to cancel two appointments this month as a result of Falck drivers have failed to show up.
Mr Silver, 80, mentioned: ‘We go to the Marsden with a dying sentence hanging over us and we hope for a reprieve. In latest occasions the transport state of affairs has grow to be deplorable.
‘They’re both working late or lately haven’t turned up in any respect. Sitting at house questioning if transport is coming, or sitting within the foyer for 2 to a few hours doesn’t assist stress ranges. All we wish to do is go house.’
David Silver, who has stage-four most cancers, mentioned he has needed to cancel two appointments this month as a result of Falck drivers have failed to show up
Falck, a Danish healthcare firm whose British arm relies in Milton Keynes, operates 310 ambulance autos throughout the UK and works for a lot of NHS trusts, with bases at Warrington and Swansea.
The Care High quality Fee (CQC) mentioned in December that Falck ‘requires enchancment’.
An NHS supply on the Royal Marsden mentioned: ‘Falck insisted on working issues from Milton Keynes and don’t find out about occasions and site visitors [in London]. It’s been chaos, a nightmare with all of the complaints.’
An absence of Falck drivers has additionally meant ‘a fortune’ is being spent on non-public cab companies to take sufferers house, the supply added. Falck advised the MoS it’s selecting up these prices.
The Royal Marsden used to organise affected person transport internally. Mr Silver, who has been a affected person since 2012, mentioned: ‘It ran like a Swiss watch.’
An ambulance service supply, who doesn’t work for Falck, mentioned affected person transport companies have been ‘fragmented’ throughout the nation, with non-public contractors bidding to win contracts serving NHS hospital trusts.
The supply mentioned: ‘It’s very piecemeal. Some companies are good, some not so good. Margins are additionally very slim, with ambulance suppliers paid as little as £10 per affected person journey.’
Falck mentioned: ‘We offer 2,500 affected person journeys a month, and obtain fewer than one grievance a month, assembly and exceeding targets for greater than 90 per cent of journeys.’
A Royal Marsden spokesman mentioned: ‘We work carefully with Falck, as we do any exterior provider, to assessment the service our sufferers obtain and to establish areas for enchancment.’