40 jobs lost as ambulance service ends private hospital transport contract

Morton Huckfield, Chloe Warner, Annmarie Warner, Marcus Warner and Betty Huckfield at Banbury Private Ambulance Service HQ at Banbury Wharf. The Huckfields started the service in 1986.
Morton Huckfield, Chloe Warner, Annmarie Warner, Marcus Warner and Betty Huckfield at Banbury Private Ambulance Service HQ at Banbury Wharf. The Huckfields started the service in 1986.

A private ambulance service based in Banbury has gone into liquidation after the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) pulled a contract at the weekend.

Banbury Private Ambulance Service Ltd bosses, Marcus and Annmarie Warner, called staff to tell them not to report for work on Monday.

“It seems we’ve upset someone. They have pulled the plug and 40 people will be unemployed,” said Mr Warner.

“Last Thursday they told us to stop work in one area and now we are told there is no work at all. That is 15 ambulances a day. It’s not A&E work but home to hospital transport.”

Mr Warner said the company was started up by his wife’s parents, Morton and Betty Huckfield, in 1986.

“I joined 15 years ago. We had 25 vehicles from ambulances to cars and transport. Now all these will be sold through the liquidators. How they expect to manage without private ambulances when they can’t now, I don’t know.”

Paul Stevens of SCAS said: “South Central Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust has regularly used Banbury Private Ambulance Service on an ad-hoc basis to support provision of our patienttransport service.

“We constantly review our processes, performance, resources and results and due to operational reasons our usage of BPAS was recently reduced. As of January 5, we are consequently no longer working with BPAS.

“We aim to provide the highest standards of response, care and treatment and we can our assure patients this operational change will not have a detrimental effect on patient experience.”