Ambulance service goes public in victory over privatisation

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Angela Rayner MP has today warmly welcomed Greater Manchester's ambulance service being taken back into public hands after being privatised three years ago.

It is one of four major ambulance contracts which have been won by the in-house North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), beating off rival bids from two other private companies.

 

The Greater Manchester service is currently provided by Arriva, who pulled out of the tendering process for the new five-year-contract, estimated to be worth £44 million, after admitting wrongly claiming £1.5million as part of their contract.

 

The North West Ambulance Service has been awarded the five year contract for patient transport services in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria.

 

It has won back the Greater Manchester Service after a three year 'failed experiment' with privatisation, says Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne who led the campaign to keep the service public in 2012.

 

Angela said: "This is a fantastic victory for the people of Greater Manchester and for public services.

 

"Our local ambulance service is now going back into the public sector, where care and compassion will be the motive, not profit and loss.

 

"The Arriva contract was a disastrous experiment. Ambulances were late or failed to turn up - and the company wrongly claimed £1.5million on the basis of false figures and accounting.

 

"it was a disgraceful record of failure, but now common sense has prevailed and Greater Manchester's ambulance service will go back into public ownership, with greater public control and accountability.

 

"It means a far better deal in the future for patients throughout Greater Manchester who faced long delays and missed appointments because of the Arriva service."

 

UNISON Branch Chair, Jeff Gorman said: "We are thrilled to bits at getting Greater Manchester back - it is a massive victory for public services.

 

"Patients are now going to get a quality service from a professional organisation, which is not in business to make a profit. Public services like this should never be in the private sector, where profit is the motive."

 

One other ambulance contract - for Cheshire - has been awarded to the West Midlands Ambulance Service, another public provider.


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