COMMERCIAL: Following a 10-month competitive tendering process by East Midlands Procurement and Commissioning Transformation (EMPACT), all non-emergency patient transport in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire is set to be operated by Arriva Passenger Services Ltd from summer 2012.

Patients in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire, who are eligible for free NHS transport to their appointments, will be driven in a new fleet of environmentally
friendly vehicles. The vehicles will be equipped with satellite navigation and text messaging pick-up reminders for patients.

Similar arrangements will apply across the East Midlands under the terms of the new contracts, which are due to be phased in between April and July 2012 when the
current contractual arrangements expire.

As part of the competitive tendering process, seven organisations submitted bids for either, one, some, or all of the county-based contracts, and the preferred bidders were chosen following a process involving the assessment against pre-determined scoring criteria. This included assessments of quality, performance, management, environmental impact and financial viability.

The contract for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire is estimated to be worth almost £35 million over five years. The total value of all five contracts over the same period
is around £130 million.

The contract award was subject to a mandatory standstill period, which has now passed. Work has now begun with the new preferred provider to conclude the
contracting process.

Existing patient transport employees in the East Midlands will be eligible for jobs with the new operators under the same terms and conditions as their current employment contracts.