Commissioners are reviewing a failed procurement after a tender for a county wide patient transport service – which was amended after an outcry from patients – did not attract any bidders. 

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, which is rated “inadequate” by NHS England, launched the procurement in February and is in discussion with current providers Ezec and Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust over an extension.

The existing contract expires at the end of March next year.

The CCG said 27 providers had expressed an interest in the tender, which advertised the contract value at £14.5m over three years.

A spokeswoman said the CCG had run a “rigorous” tender process.

It comes after the CCG backed down over proposals to restrict the number of patients eligible for NHS funded transport to hospital.

Charity Kidney Care UK had warned many patients reliant on dialysis would not be eligible and would be at risk of missing out on treatment due to travel costs.

The CCG spokeswoman said the engagement with patients had happened “separately” to the tender process.

She said the new service would provide a fairer system and ensure value for money.

As well as non-emergency transport, the contract covered some ambulance services, mental health specialist transport, and centralised booking services.

The spokeswoman said the CCG will work with “current and potential providers, people and stakeholders over the coming months” to understand why the procurement was unsuccessful.

  • Article updated at 2.25pm on September 7 to include detail on current providers and length of existing contract