COMMERCIAL: NHS Surrey and Surrey County Council have awarded a new three year contract to provide non-emergency transport for patients to South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SECAmb).

It includes out of area and out of hours journeys. The joint deal will save £620,000 a year on the previous arrangements through improved efficiency, according the primary care trust cluster and council

Ali Kalmis, director lead for patient transport services at NHS Surrey, said: “An improved service for patients and associated cost savings will be the result of the partnership work between NHS Surrey and Surrey County Council.”

A new booking system will also make it simpler for patients to book their transport. All bookings will be taken by the Surrey County Council Call Booking Service. For NHS patients, the new booking service will mean a “one stop shop” for first appointments.

Geraint Davies, director of commercial services at SECAmb, said: “We are now looking forward to establishing the new service on 1 October as we seek to develop and enhance it in collaboration with patients and commissioners.”

In addition, multiple contracts have been awarded to private and community transport suppliers to provide transport for Surrey County Council day services and residential homes.