Isle of Man residents travelling to the North West of England for medical appointments can be assured of a “first class service” during their transfer between ports and hospitals, according to the service’s new provider, ComCab Liverpool.
The taxi operator has been awarded the contract following an open and competitive tendering exercise and will commence service on Monday 27 March 2017.
Patients who travel regularly should not see any change in service, which will include full assistance and door to door collection and drop-off as standard.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK, said:
'The Department is looking forward to working with ComCab Liverpool to ensure that Isle of Man residents receiving hospital care in the North West are transferred to their appointments in a professional, timely, considerate and caring manner.
'I am aware of the strength of feeling by some in our community about this issue and the high regard they have for the current provider Bridgewater. I would like to place on record the Department’s thanks for their exemplary service.
'Tendering exercises are not solely about cost and in this instance there was a 50% weighting for the quality of service. I would seek to reassure the public that our contract makes crystal clear the standard of service the Department expects patients to receive when being transported to and from their hospital appointments. It is clear that ComCab Liverpool has a strong track record in this regard through an existing and longstanding patient transfer contract, and can offer expertise, high quality customer service and value for money.'
ComCab Liverpool has over 50 years of experience in delivering contract work, the past 15 of which include patient transport for the North West Ambulance Service as well as a new contract with the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Karen Long, General Manager for ComCab Liverpool, said:
'Our many years of experience in transporting patients means we have a real understanding of the complex needs and expectations of passengers who are on their way to and from hospital. A number of our contracts – with schools, social services, councils and NHS trusts – have given the company and our drivers a breadth and depth of experience in transporting vulnerable passengers.
'We take our duty of care seriously and our values of safety, professionalism, courtesy and understanding are instilled in all of our drivers. I believe ComCab Liverpool’s record and reputation demonstrate our ability to deliver a first class service for Isle of Man patients and their escorts. The whole team is very much looking forward to welcoming and transporting passengers and to building a strong working relationship with the Department of Health and Social Care.'
ComCab Liverpool currently undertakes around 900 patient transfer journeys a week, with all vehicles in the fleet being wheelchair accessible. The company’s workforce is made up of professional drivers, with 95% holding or working towards NVQ Level 2 in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving and all undergoing a Disclosure and Barring Service check (‘police check’) annually as part of badge renewals with Liverpool City Council.
With a fleet of 350 purpose-built vehicles, ComCab Liverpool is the city’s largest taxi service and has a history on Merseyside stretching back almost 60 years to the company’s original formation in 1958.