John Mann blasts ambulance transport service as a ‘shambles’

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Some years ago Arriva Trains won a contract to provide non-emergency ambulances for the East Midlands, writes John Mann MP.

The contract was let out and they bid for it under EU public procurement rules.

Abolishing these rules will, I feel, be one of the big and immediate benefits of Brexit.

What happened before this was the 999 ambulances did patient transfers, obviously suspending them to deal with emergencies.

I believe that it was a good system and it meant there were more 999 ambulances.

Currently, Arriva is still transporting patients and in my opinion the system is a shambles, as I have always warned it would be.

I believe that patients are missing major operations because Arriva transport fails to arrive.

I am dealing with a very recent example currently in Worksop.

A local man on 24-hour oxygen has twice had to stay in Bassetlaw hospital an extra night because no booked transport arrived.

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It is my opinion that this private, profit-making company is costing the NHS with every failure.

An overnight stay in hospital costs serious money, a cancelled operation even more.

I believe it is time that this contract was taken off Arriva and given back to the NHS ambulance service.

Bringing the transport service back in-house will help ensure that there are more and quicker ambulance responses.

I feel that making money out of the ambulance service is one of the worst examples of bad contracting and of EU rules that do not currently work in this country.

During the referendum, I raised this in public debates and I have done so on television, radio and in Parliament, but all I ever get is a vague denial.

I will continue to press for change until it happens.

I will always hold the NHS to account, but I will also vote to keep all health services within the NHS.

If you have had problems with hospital transport from Arriva, you can email me at as I intend to hold them to account as well.