Map of Ambulance Services Privatisation

As is the case across so much of the NHS (see our other maps) private healthcare companies are now making a profit out of ambulance services.

EveryDoctor has researched the extent of the privatisation of NHS ambulance services across the whole UK; you can see the results on this map and they’re *shocking*.

We have found over 40 contracts for medical ambulance care (we have not counted pure patient transport services that do not require the presence of someone qualified to deliver medical care if necessary – see the FAQs below).

We have seen in other parts of the NHS that what begins as a small private healthcare presence grows and grows over time. As an organisation we oppose all forms of NHS privatisation and outsourcing, and that includes ambulance services. High quality, safe patient care requires collaboration, communication and continuity. When services are cleaved off and fragmented between different providers this becomes hard to achieve and patients suffer.

In addition, the primary duty of private companies is to make a profit for their shareholders. We believe that every penny of what is public money should be reinvested in delivering excellent care. Ambulance services are a critical part of the delivery of safe care to patients and they should be publicly funded and publicly provided; there is no place for making a profit out of patients.

EveryDoctor is committed to exposing what politicians are doing to the NHS – NHS privatisation is accelerating and every person deserves to know what’s going on, so we can push back together.

Ambulance Services Privatisation - FAQs

Where did you get the data from?

The government has a searchable database of all contracts awarded by central government or government bodies. These include NHS ambulance trusts and similar authorities that are responsible for providing ambulance services. We searched for the word “ambulance”. This returned over a thousand contracts awarded since 2015.

What do you mean by “ambulance service”?

Many of the contracts we found were for patient transport (sometimes non-emergency patient transport) rather than the delivery of any medical care.  Many of these contracts were awarded to taxi or bus/coach companies.  Whilst many of these services are still provided by the NHS, we have excluded them for the purposes of this map because our primary concern relates to the privatisation of the delivery of medical care.

How did you decide which were medical and non-medical contracts?

Our researcher is also a consultant anaesthetist so was able to read through each individual contract description and decide whether the services to be provided included the actual delivery of medical care (or the ability to do so should a patient require it during transport).

We are carrying out this crucial work to build public awareness and help everyone to push back against NHS privatisation.


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