This is where the privatisation-by-stealth of our health service has brought us: bailiffs have seized five ambulances from a private ambulance firm, leaving Sussex patients in crisis.
Just a few months ago, ambulance services in Sussex were sold off to a private company called Coperforma, headed by the billionaire Tesco heir John Porter. The service quickly went down the pan. Many patients found themselves waiting hours for an ambulance, and some missed crucial chemotherapy or dialysis appointments altogether.
Now, it’s just got worse. A private company that worked with Coperforma has gone into administration, and bailiffs have been seizing ambulances. Let’s tell the government that public health should not be put at risk for private interests.
Let’s tell the government ambulance services should not be privatised. It needs to reverse the privatisation of our ambulance services now.
VM Langfords is just one of many private companies providing private ambulance services to the NHS. In fact, ambulance services are being privatised all across England -- with devastating consequences for patients. Last year, all 10 English ambulance trusts sent private providers to attend life-threatening emergencies. And, while spending on private providers is going up, standards are going down.
In Sussex, this has meant many patients have been waiting more than five hours for an ambulance -- if one turns up at all. Cancer patients are missing chemotherapy appointments. Patients with kidney failure are missing dialysis sessions. And hospitals are being forced to fork out on taxis just to get patients home.
Ambulances are an essential public service. Yet the government has put them up for sale -- whatever the consequences for patients and their families.
SumOfUs was created to put an end to the corporate capture of our public services. Hundreds of thousands of us have spoken up against the government's privatisation of our NHS already. Now we need to make sure everyone knows the truth: our NHS is being privatised, and it’s putting our lives at risk.
Tell the government to reverse the privatisation of our ambulance services, now.