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Govt defends taxi contract switch

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Contract tendering exercise 'is policy'

Health chiefs say the decision to appoint a new provider of taxi services for Manx patients in Liverpool came after a standard tendering exercise.

Merseyside firm Bridgewater has provided hospital transfers for the past 20 years - but has lost its contract with the Manx government from 1 April.

The move triggered a public outcry this weekend among patients, their families and carers, upset at the dropping of Bridgewater - and an online petition urging the firm to be re instated has attracted just under 1500 signatures.

The health department says government policy dictates that set-term contracts are always renewed through competitive tendering exercises. 

The unsuccessful bidders have until 16 March to seek feedback on their tenders, and to appeal the decision.

The department says it weighed quality and price factors equally, and is assuring patients appointing a professional transfer service which manages patients 'caringly' is its aim. 

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