Coperforma apologises unreservedly to all patients and clinical staff who have or are experiencing extended delays in transport to and from appointments and treatments, and in being able to contact Coperforma.

Michael Clayton, CEO of Coperforma says: “Coperforma accepts that the level of service it has been able to provide over the first few days of its Sussex provision is unacceptable.

Whilst Coperforma takes full responsibility for the situation, a number of factors outside of our control at the takeover point contributed to a ‘perfect storm’ that have mitigated against as successful start to the service as had been planned.

Hundreds of new journey bookings were unnecessarily withheld until 2315 on Thursday night and the reasons for this are being investigated.

Patients being told that 40-50% of renal patients would no longer be receiving NHS Hospital transport caused huge anxiety and understandably resulted in thousands of calls from anxious patients.

Patients being advised in the days before handover to call back after April 1st to make bookings and re-confirm their existing future bookings, has again caused unnecessary stress for patients and caused unnecessary call volume

The late timing of the data provided to Coperforma on Thursday night on patients and their journeys, together with issues about the quality of that data presented huge challenges to its transfer into the booking system.

These factors resulted in many more thousands of calls to the booking line than expected, diverting staff from delivering the service expected by patients and NHS staff.

Michael Clayton continues: “We have added 18 additional staff into our Demand Centres and are working hard to extend the on-line access to patients and clinical staff to ensure that going forward we deliver the service that all patients and NHS clinical staff expect and deserve.”