Rachael Maskell MP for York Central joined Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff on Saturday morning in Parliament Street to give her support and to collect signatures for the petition to stop the privatisation of Patient Transport in North Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust currently runs the Patient Transport Service across the Vale of York, Scarborough and Rydale. They are the only NHS trust that covers the whole of Yorkshire and are Yorkshire's main provider of non-emergency medical transport. They cover an area of over 4,595 square miles, serve a population of approximately five million people, perform around a million patient transport journeys every year, and have provided the service for over 30 years.
The Patient Transport Service covering the Vale of York, Scarborough and Rydale has gone out to tender, which means that private companies can bid to take over the service in order to make a profit.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff have been successfully acquiring signatures for the petition to stop the privatisation of Patient Transport in North Yorkshire. The petition is also available online and will be passed on to Unison on 10 July and put forward with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service bid at the end of July.
Rachael Maskell MP for York Central says:
“I am in full support of the dedicated staff at Yorkshire Ambulance Service in their commitment to ensure that the Patient Transport Service remains in public ownership. 9% of the NHS is now in private hands which only serves to divert money away from frontline resources and patient care.
"Reports have shown how in other parts of the country, where private companies have taken over the contract for Ambulance Transport Services that patients have had extended waits for ambulances and have been stuck at hospital for long periods after their appointments because the service has proved so unreliable.
"It is essential that Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust retain their contract with NHS Vale of York CCG and NHS Scarborough and Rydale CCG so that the service can continue to answer to stakeholders, not shareholders, and that any revenue generated can be reinvested back into the service.
"For too long we have witnessed the Government preside over cuts and creeping privatisation in our NHS. It is now crucial that we see our NHS services brought back into public ownership and properly resourced to ensure that we all receive the high standard of care we deserve.”
The petition can be signed online at: https://www.change.org/p/nhs-vale-of-york-and-nhs-scarborough-and-rydale-clinical-commissioning-groups-stop-the-privatisation-of-patient-transport-in-north-yorkshire