01/11/2016 South Today


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Hello and welcome to South Today, I'm Edward Sault.


They gave it up after just seven months.


Coperforma surrends its contract to run patient transport


But is the new provider at risk of overstretching itself?


Could these be coming to the leafy Surrey hills?


Protestors hope not as they set up camp.


Tomorrow morning there is the chance of Frost, I will have the wdather


details shortly. They had weathered the storl


but have now decided to throw Coperforma - the company


running the NHS patient transport service in Sussex -


is handing back the sixty ?62 million contract


after just seven months. in April, hundreds of patients


were being left stranded, Thousands soon signed a pethtion


calling for an end to the contract. providing ambulances went btst


and vehicles were seized. Then, in August, an NHS report


found Coperforma had failed to plan properly to take


on the service. Despite making big


improvements, the NHS today confirmed Coperforma had given up


the contract and South Central Ambulance Service will take


over for the time being. Let's join reporter


Anjana Gadgil who is live The writing has been on the wall


for some months now, hasn't it? Yes, the contract was awarddd


to Coperforma in April and health bosses in Sussex have been dealing


with the fall out ever sincd. There were angry patients


not being collected for hospital appointments,


angry staff not being paid, angry hospitals picking up the pidces


angry MPs and angry union mdmbers. At one point in the first


five weeks only 1 in 5 Michael is a former army officer


who needs dialysis four timds a week - but never knew


if the ambulance would turn up. It is annoying enough to have to go


in for dialysis. Then to waht for transport you know could be


organised better is annoying. Your thoughts on the fact the colpany


will no longer have the contract? I was going to say I am delhghted,


because they are not capabld of running it.


So were Coperforma pushed or did they jump?


By the summer Coperforma has begun to meet its targets but it lay have


struggled to make any money out of the service.


And much of this saga boils down to finances.


Up until 2014 South East Coast Ambulance Service -


Secam - were running Patient Transport Services


in Sussex but said it didn't want to to continue operating under


When the service went out to tender Coperforma were the only bidders.


One other company - called @rriva - had expressed interest


but withdrew because - like Secam - it didn't think


the contract could be delivdred at the price being offered.


Coperforma were providing the service through a booking hub


but employing transport providers to sub-contract the drivers.


And clearly there were lots of teething problems with that model.


Coperforma haven't spoken today but the NHS body which appohnted


Coperforma says it was a mutual decision.


We receive communication from the company that whilst perform`nce had


improved, the contract is not economical. We have an exit


arrangement for them. Well patients, MPs and the tnions


have been queuing up to say how pleased they are that the contract


has been handed back. Transport will again be


provided by the NHS via the South Central Ambulance Service


who already run the service But remember Coperforma werd due


to run the service for 6 ye`rs so there will have be


another tender process. South Central Ambulance


will have to get to grips It already runs patient


transport in four counties , it's taking charge in Surrex too


next April and now has to oversee all of Sussex where there h`ve


been on-going problems. So earlier, I asked Deputy Chief


Executive James Underhay how Our aim is clearly to utilise as


many of our own staff and vdhicles as possible, clearly the tile frame


for mobilising the contract is going to be shorter than we would normally


the patients and their families we the patients and their families we


want to have the right people with the right skills and right


equipment, to deliver a safd and competent service. Southeast


ambulances are stopped runnhng the service because they said they were


not being paid enough. Our south-central being paid more than?


Or is at the same value? It would be inappropriate to have that


conversation at the moment those are still ongoing discussions bdtween


ourselves and the CCG. Is there a risk of overstretching oursdlves?


Like I say we will put in place proper infrastructure, propdr


management, proper resources to run the contract in the same wax we run


other contract we currently hold. You can guarantee that Sussdx


patients, who have had a difficult six months, we'll get the sdrvice


they deserve and need? Absolutely, our priority is ensuring th`t those


patients and their families receive the service they should rightly


expect. Thank you for your time this evening.


Potentially it houses the fhfth largest onshore oil field in the UK


and could be worth millions of pounds - but drilling


into the Surrey Hills to extract it, is highly controversial.


Campaigners are concerned about the possible environmdntal


But the company involved has sought to reassure local people.


It is a popular part of leafy Surrey for walkers, cyclists, and horse


But now the area has become the site of a battle between the Europa oil


and gas company, and environmental campaigners.


Last Friday the campaigners began setting up this


protest camp, complete with tree houses.


Central government has completely overridden the wishes of


the people in this area, they have been made


completely clear, it could


not be more obvious that this is not wanted.


Today the Green party MEP for the south-east visited the site


There are enough people saying, hang on, this


is a beautiful neck of the


woods, literally, why on earth would we want to disrupt it?


The south already has a serhes of onshore oil


This site would allow the operator access to reserves


estimates that around 5 million barrels.


The site was approved by


the planning Inspectorate following a seven-year battle


but there are outstanding issues including an


application for new securitx fencing around the site.


It is over one hectare of l`nd that they are


It will be visible from the road, never in


Nobody from Europa oil and gas was available for


interview today but in a radio interview last Friday the company


stressed they will not use controversial fracking techniques.


It is a conventional exploration well.


So it predates the invention of fracking in the UK.


The oil industry says it has a good track record when


it comes to protecting the environment.


In the UK, and in particular, the area where this site


exists, we have already drilled about 250 wells.


It is essentially nothing dhfferent to what we have


Europa gas and oil does need a series of final


approvals before it can start work on this site.


The company is hoping to st`rt drilling here at some stage


Students from a secondary school near Chichester which burned down


in the summer have moved into their new temporary


It's been made from portabld buildings constructed on pl`ying


fields at The Academy Selsex for students and their families


I am kind of excited, now wd don't have to get on a bus every day. We


are just here and we know the place where we will learn everythhng.


It is amazing, really impressive. I cannot get over it, how quick they


have done it. It is great, better than the old school.


Champion jockey Jim Crowley has been released from hospital


Crowley, from Pulbrough in West Sussex, came away


from a horrific looking crash with only a broken nose.


Fellow jockey Freddy Tylitski remains in a stable condition


That's all from the South Today news team this evening.


We're back tomorrow with bulletins in BBC Breakfast and there's more


Here with our regional weather forecast is Alexis.


It is going to be very chilly overnight. Temperatures could fall


to around freezing, or just above, there's a chance of patchy frost in


the countryside, with the clearing sky. Still cloud around movhng


southward, clear skies will allow Frost to form, and there will be


fairly light northerly winds. A chilly start tomorrow, it is a


lovely day with lots of sunshine, one spells of sunshine throtgh the


afternoon, patchy cloud herd and there, temperatures a littld lower


today, reaching 12 Celsius with a light northerly breeze. Tomorrow


night, a widespread frost, high pressure starts to pull awax, with


clear skies it will be a chhlly start to Thursday, a bright and


sunny start but clouding ovdr with this weather front moving e`stwards


across the region during thd day. We expect patchy rain on Thursday night


into the early hours of Friday morning and also through Frhday Low


pressure takes charge through Thursday night into Friday, for the


weekend it will be quite chhlly Tomorrow, a frosty start, a high of


11 Celsius, and on Thursday the Frost


couple of days, frosty mornings before turning unsettled. Good You


know what, in evening. the last few days, much


more following the calendar. A warm end to October, 1st


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