Essex-based private ambulance business collapses into administration

Mon, 09 Sep 2019 | ADMINISTRATION



A number of NHS trusts have been impacted by one of England’s largest providers emergency support falling into administration.

Providing services in various locations across the UK, but headquartered in Rainham, Essex, the SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service Limited was forced to appoint administrators to explore options for the company during its insolvency period.

SSG UK is known to provide transportation services for the NHS in both emergency and non-emergency situations. However, only up to 15 per cent of all trusts’ activity in response to 999 alerts is carried out by private companies; it is unknown what percentage of that figure is carried out by SSG UK.

News of the administration has forced South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust to source other private ambulance providers to step in and take over the duties of SSG so it has the capacity to take over from SSG should its services halt.

Similarly, the South Central Ambulance Service FT said: “[SSG UK] only provides a small part of our emergency 999 service and we have taken swift action to ensure that any potential disruption to the service we provide to patients is kept to a minimum.

“We will follow our business continuity arrangements to ensure SCAS is able to provide the additional ambulance and crews required until such a time as a new arrangement has been identified.”

SSG boasted a £6.8 million turnover in its 2017 annual accounts, but also showed a net loss of roughly £250,000. The company’s liabilities exceeded its assets by £68,000.

Chief executive of the Independent Ambulance Association, Alan Howson, noted that SSG’s financial issues may perhaps be a result of the high costs involved in achieving regulatory compliance. He also said that demand for private companies had fallen due to new NHS ambulance response targets set in 2017.


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