NEWS of ambulance service redundancies has sparked fears that a troubled private provider may exit its Sussex contract.

Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL), which provides a patient transfer service(PTS) in Sussex, have come under fire after announcing ten planned redundancies.

The private provider was earlier this year called “appalling” by MPs for leaving an elderly patient outside in snowy conditions.

They were also previously involved in a scandal in 2016 when a firm who subcontracted the PTS out to TASL went bust, alleging that the latter firm had not carried out work they were paid to do.

The GMB union has said that the redundancies show the private provider is unfit to continue providing the service, and has called for it to be taken back in-house.

Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said: “Once again the problem is that hard working staff are going to bear the brunt of another private contractor failure in Sussex.

“Private providers which value profits over providing quality service have no place in our NHS.

“These redundancies could and can still be avoided, if all stakeholders are open to trying to seek to advance talks to bring the remainder of the service back in house.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown said: “These redundancies are a clear acknowledgement that the Thames Ambulance Service contract is no longer viable and we are just prolonging what is an inevitable collapse.

“These workers shouldn’t be treated as just a line item on a spreadsheet, they deserve respect. The CCG needs to end the uncertainty for the 42 workers and their families and bring the contract back into the NHS. The public are sick of this patchwork of private companies looking to make a quick buck out of our public services.

“It’s only a matter of time before every Patient Transport Provider is operated by the NHS, be that because of their own financial collapse or because of a change of government.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “These redundancies look like a last-ditch attempt by Thames Ambulance Service to protect its bottom line at the expense of dedicated staff and the quality of patient care.

“The CCG must urgently ensure that our PTS services are publicly provided, so the people who rely on patient transport services have the certainty they need from the NHS.”

Thames Ambulance Service were unable to provide a response when contacted by The Argus.