A private company awarded a contract to provide non patient transport at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has withdrawn from the process, it has been revealed.
A row erupted after the trust, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, awarded the contract to a company called FTS Ltd.
The contract covered transporting hospital equipment and clinical waste as well as nurses to lectures and conferences and had previously been provided by ambulance staff and staff employed by the hospital trust
Bob Parkinson, Unite regional organiser, said: “Letters have been sent to the affected staff regarding the transfer informing them that the bidder has withdrawn from the contract with Royal Preston Hospital to provide non patient transport and that future tender provision will follow in due course.
“Although delighted this contract is to stay within the NHS and that loyal staff are to remain in their current employment, questions need to be answered as to how this fiasco happened.
“Several requests from the unions to speak with the company went unanswered and we want to know why due diligence was not carried out in awarding this contract.
“Staff have been through an emotional time with very little information and continual extension to the transfer date.
“It has been a total waste of public money at a time when hospital budgets can least afford it.
“We intend to continue seeking answers.”
Miles Timperley, executive director of facilities and services at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said, “We can confirm that the preferred bidder has withdrawn from the non-patient transport tender process, and we are reviewing the current position.
“This contract relates to transporting samples and other items, and patient transport is unaffected.”