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Ambulance Service Subcontractor Heads into Liquidation

By Jon Munnery
30 June 2016

A provider of ambulance and patient transfer services in the county of Sussex in southern England has been forced into liquidation.

VM Langfords has been contracted to provide ambulance services to local healthcare facilities and patients across Sussex but has been hit by a significant financial crisis in recent weeks.

According to the GMB union, bailiffs were sent to seize assets owned by VM Langfords in mid-June on behalf of the company’s creditors.

A total of five vehicles were apparently taken by those bailiffs as payment for debts owed by the cash-strapped provider of patient transport services.

Appointed insolvency practitioner Katie Young said that she hopes to see a deal to transfer ownership of VM Langfords as a going concern completed in the coming days.

“At this stage there are a number of interested parties and we can see no reason why a sale won’t complete,” she said.

“As ever patient safety continues to be the priority at all times and we’d like to thank the staff for their continued support in providing these vital services and helping the business at this time.

“Sales literature is currently being circulated to those who have expressed an interest in buying VM Langford and to relevant ambulance websites.”

For its part, the GMB union is seemingly frustrated with seeing a private provider of important public services being allowed to struggle so badly from a financial perspective.

“GMB is calling for the Commons Health Select Committee to immediately launch a public inquiry into this debacle and if needs be remove the individuals from the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that started this fiasco,” said senior GMB organiser Charles Harrity in a statement.

“GMB urges an end to the privatisation of our NHS and calls for the Sussex patient transport service to be brought back under the control of the NHS,” he said.

Prior to its entry into liquidation, VM Langfords had been working on the basis of a subcontract agreed between it and a much larger provider of patient transport services called Coperforma.

Materials advertising the smaller company as being for sale out of liquidation suggest it had an annual turnover rate of more than £3.8 million last year.

Jonathan Munnery
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