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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Coroner's private ambulance contract out to tender and worth up to £420,000

A CONTRACT to run private ambulances on behalf of the coroner in Cumbria is up for grabs, and could be worth up to £420,000.

Cumbria County Council has put the contracts to remove bodies on behalf of the coroner across the county for the next three years.

The contracts have been split into nine areas including Barrow, South Lakes, and Millom and South Copeland after the existing contract holder Dignity Funeral Care, ends the contract in August.

The council has said by splitting the contract it is hoping to attract more small firms to be able to tender for the work.

Among the stipulations of any firm hoping to be awarded the contract is to be able to arrive ‘as quickly as possible’ when a call is made by the police to remove a body.

The tender says: “When a death occurs, and it is reportable to the HM Coroner, there is a requirement to arrange for the deceased/dead body to be conveyed from the place of death to an appropriate mortuary facility, or other such location as authorised by HM Coroner or their representative, pending a post-mortem examination.

“Reliable and timely arrangements must be in place to move the deceased/dead body to the appropriate mortuary, or other location authorised by HM Coroner or their representative, as quickly as is practicable.

Papers that went before the authority’s cabinet said: “Clearly, to avoid distress to others, whether they be the family/next of kin or other individuals involved, and remove the risk of damage to the reputation of the council, it is important that contractor(s) are able to fulfil the requirements of the contract to a very high level of reliability, thereby ensuring continuity of service with this important and business critical function.”

Tenders are open until April 18 and the contract is due to begin in September.

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