During May 2016, E-zec and NSL Care Services embarked on another joint project to transfer a contract for NEPTS held between NSL and Kernow CCG in Cornwall. The project consisted of the transfer of all patient journeys, staff, vehicles and premises.

The transfer proved extremely difficult as the existing control staff left NSL before handover and did not transfer. This resulted in the entire control and planning function being relocated one week before go-live within the Cornwall area, from the existing base in Exeter. It also meant 3 control planners had to be recruited and trained to use our operating systems and the process of journey allocation and dispatch.

The service transferred over on the bank holiday weekend (May 27th), with Royal Cornwall Hospital immediately experiencing the busiest weekend in journey volumes since October 2013, when the contract with NSL mobilised. Whilst being a challenge in itself, and being a busy tourist area, E-zec also had to ensure we were ready for the discharge activity that would follow in the week ahead.

From Tuesday 31st (after the bank holiday) and as anticipated, journey volumes increased significantly, many of which were long distance and out of county. Our experience in operating these services indicted this would occur, and to ensure we could meet the demand our senior management teams and additional staff were on-hand to support the service.

The acute trusts and CCG are starting to see significant changes in the service; however there is still work to do to meet the high standards of delivery seen by our established contracts elsewhere. Over the coming week we plan to have additional trained road staff, existing bank staff offered permanent contracts, shift hours adapted to suit the journey demand profile and vehicles back in service and free from defects. We will also move the plan and control function, currently located in serviced offices, and integrate it in to one of our operational bases, allowing interaction with staff and visibility of vehicles.

The transferring staff are very supportive and already starting to see significant changes in the way the service now operates. They can also see how an experienced organisation such as E-zec operates and how that has a positive effect on themselves and patient care.