Agenda item

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service for NHS Lincolnshire CCG's - Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL)

(To receive a report from the Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL), which provides the Committee with an update on the latest position in terms of service delivery performance and organisational changes.  Mike Casey, General Manager, Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL) will be in attendance for this item)


Consideration was given to a report from the Thames Ambulance Service Ltd (TASL), which provided the Committee with an update on the latest position in terms of service delivery performance and organisational changes.


The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Mike Casey, General Manager, Thames Ambulance Service Ltd.


In guiding the Committee through the report, the General Manager of Thames Ambulance Service Ltd advised that since the last meeting a new operational structure had been agreed, and was currently being implemented.  The Committee was advised that TASL had confirmed its commitment to Lincolnshire by relocating its Head Office to the Pelham Centre in Lincoln.


The Committee was also advised that the performance improvement plan had included:-


·         A new process had been implemented for call handling, which had resulted in some significant improvements in call answering times.  It was highlighted that call answering had unfortunately seen a drop as a result of TASL losing six call centre staff, these staff had now been replaced and 'pipeline' recruitment was now in place, so it was hoped that performance would now start to improve;

·         That since the revised offer had be sent to the voluntary car service drivers, 64 of the existing drivers had returned.  The Committee noted that TASL had recognised the importance of the service and as such a further revised offer was to be going out to the drivers to encourage a greater number back into the organisation;

·         That a series of staff meetings had been held at Boston, Lincoln and Grantham stations.  It was noted that from the feedback received, an action plan had been created;

·         A dedicated local secondment manager had been seconded to deliver the performance improvement plan; and

·         That weekly performance reporting had been introduced across contract areas, including Lincolnshire; and that daily performance reporting had been introduced.


The Committee was advised that TASL continued to work with the CQC and commissioners.  Confirmation was received that a full CQC action plan had been implemented.  The Committee noted that TASL had until November 2018 to meet the agreed trajectory.


Attached at Appendix A to the report was a copy of the Recovery Action Plan for the Committees consideration. 


A discussion ensued, from which the Committee raised the following points:-


·         Whether TASL still had contracts with the North and North East Lincolnshire.  The Committee was advised that TASL was disappointed that notice had been received of the termination of the contract in North Lincolnshire, however, TASL would continue to provide a service until the termination date and would re-tender for the service;

·         One member enquired as to whether the April/May figures presented were actual figures.  Confirmation was given that the presented figures were  forecasted;

·         Page 111 – The amber status for voluntary car service recruitment.  One member highlighted that to recruit volunteers, more needed to be done other than advertising and putting leaflets up.  The Committee was advised that TASL had been active in trying to recruit more voluntary car service drivers, which had included: advertising through the NHS media; CCGs twitter feed and TASL website; posters in doctors surgeries, supermarket and hospitals; and going out to the market for instance young mothers; available after the schools run; and also refer a friend (offer of £50.00 introduction fee; and if they stayed for a month, also £50.00 was paid to the volunteer). Some suggestions put forward from the Committee were the use of recognition schemes to help keep volunteers motivated; and to approach Radio Lincolnshire for an interview to help in recruiting volunteers;

·         Some members expressed their thanks to TASL for the progress that had been made and for the continuing optimism shown;

·         One member highlighted that some complaints were still being received concerning missed appointments, particularly down the east coast.  The Committee was advised that the east coast was a challenge due to the distances travelled.  The Committee was advised further that a strategy was now in place which ensured that the voluntary car service drivers had the right level of resources in an area.  TASL was currently utilising third party providers to ensure that patients got to appointments.  It was noted that ambulances in Louth and Skegness were limited.  The Committee noted that a review of service provision was being conducted in the east coast area; and

·         Confirmation was given that voluntary car service drivers used their own insurance.


In conclusion, the Chairman extended thanks on behalf of the Committee to TASL for the more positive picture presented; and advised that going forward emphasis should be put on ensuring that the KPIs were achieved.  The Committee agreed reporting to the Committee should be on a quarterly basis and that a monthly update should be received as part of the Chairman's announcements.




That an update report be received by the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire in three months' time, and thereafter on a quarterly basis; and that monthly updates be received by the Committee as part of the Chairman's Announcements.


The Committee adjourned at 12.30pm and re-convened at 1.30pm.


Additional apologies for absence for the afternoon part of the meeting were received from Councillors M T Fido and P Howitt-Cowan (West Lindsey District Council).

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