HSE and Taxis

“In relation to contracts between the HSE and taxi companies in Dublin to transport patients to and from treatment centres/hospitals:-

– How many contracts currently exist?

– When are they up for renewal again?

– How much does it cost the HSE in total?

– Does the HSE seek feedback from patients on the service they get?”

Cllr. Seamus McGrattan

 

Response:

The HSE spend on taxis was one of the areas targeted last year as part of cost containment measures.  Significant savings of over €1.5 million were achieved in this area last year across each of the HSE regions.

 

HSE vehicles and their staff are prioritised for front line, emergency work and therefore a much more effective service is provided for patients or clients who are not acutely ill through the use of taxis.

 

The use of taxis for patient transport represents a more cost effective solution when compared to investment in a fleet of HSE owned vehicles for this purpose.  Additional costs relating to this would include the provision of 24/7 staffing, maintenance, fuel, insurance and tax.  The use of taxis also allows the HSE flexibility in the face of variable demand.

 

The HSE tender for taxi services is a Framework Agreement and does not contain any commitment to award business. Business will only be awarded (by lot per HSE region) by way of Mini Competitions on a priority basis yet to be determined. The Framework Agreement provides for Patient Transport Services (Taxi, Hackney & Minibus).

 

The range of services for clients includes but is not restricted to the following:

 

§  Dialysis journeys to Dublin and Northern Ireland hospitals

§  Daily minibus services to workshops/schools for clients with Autistic, Physical, Sensory and Intellectual needs.

§  Taxis required for Medical card patients travelling for inpatient/outpatient appointments, who have no access to Public transport.

§  Child Psychiatry Appointments.

§  Clients who are in the child protection process, facilitating access meetings and visits.

§  Clients using community based services for Speech, Language and Audiology clinics.

§  Clients who are discharged from Acute Hospitals to Nursing Homes for convalescence or discharged home.

  • Taxis are sometimes used for delivering requests of X-rays, etc to other regions.

 

There is currently one contract in place for Patient Care Transport Services in the Dublin Area.  This contract is due to expire in January 2015.  The total cost in 2012 for this service in the Dublin North/North City Areas was €682,221.

 

HSE Procurement has engaged with the National Taxi Regulator to ensure that appropriate quality and standards are in place for all services.