The Art Of Procurement

A new Welsh ambulance

More Welsh laundry gets washed in the press this week:
Ambulance service slammed for wasting £2m.

As I posted earlier, if you employ amateurs in the back office then this is the sort of cock-up that happens. W.A.S. is not alone, the arsehole, oops sorry, manager in charge of procurement in my own service has got it wrong so many times that no one understands how he still manages to be employed – of course in the NHS no one ever gets sacked for incompetence.

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust entered into an agreement in 2002 with a company to buy and fit out 30 emergency ambulances. But the company was declared insolvent before fitting out three of these ambulances. None of these three vehicles, which cost £83,000, has ever been used and they are still in storage. Furthermore it later emerged that the remaining vehicles did not comply with safety standards for emergency vehicles and had to be re-deployed within the patient care service.

And in 2005, the trust arranged to buy and convert 46 Renault Master vans at a cost of £2.4m. But, after they had been converted, it was found that the new ambulances had a weight overload on their front axles, rendering them potentially unsafe.The trust was forced to spend a further £120,000 to make them operational but it can only now use them to carry patients – no relatives are allowed to accompany patients in these vehicles.

The trouble seems to be that, despite input from ‘road’ staff, procurement is carried out by people who’ve never been on the road in their life and testing is usually left to officers/managers who last worked on a frontline vehicle when they still had starter handles. The first time staff get to ‘test’ them is when they’re already in active service.

A report by consultants has told the service that it must pre-test new emergency ambulances to prevent public money being wasted on vehicles that cannot be used to carry patients to hospital.

Talk about stating the bleedin’ obvious!


5 Responses to The Art Of Procurement

  1. Kingmagic says:

    Its the same things year after year.
    A/E vehicles/uniform/equipment, all brought in by someone who has very little idea of what the troops want or need.
    This sort of planning and organisation seems to be all over the country…did they all go to the same management school, I,d ask for the money back!

  2. Carmelo says:

    Loving the top header picture thing, very festive:-)

  3. ecparamedic says:

    Same old, same old…..

    You wouldn’t believe some of the goofy ideas that have been foisted on us by someone with a completly arrogant disregard for the needsof the poor sods who have to work in his little ‘creations’. Needless to say he’s not ‘from within’.

    Somehow this prat kept his job too…..

  4. Jonbob says:

    I might be stating the obvious here, but many trusts already run vehicles, and have tested them to death. Why would W.A.S want to buy and design their own when most manufacturers and specialist vehicle builders have tried and tested models off the shelf as it were.


  5. jb says:

    I would hate to see an ambulance in the condition of my old International Dump Truck.
    This picture does need credit though: Please visit Adults only Please

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