Up to 250 people have lost their jobs this week after Morecambe-based Trust Medical closed down.
Staff – including around 30 at a head office in Marine Road Central and numerous bank staff and other employees on zero hours contracts – were told by email on Monday afternoon that the company was “no longer in a position to continue”.
Staff had been due to be paid on Monday but are now waiting to see if this will happen at a later date.
One staff member said: “When our wages hadn’t gone in people started to ask questions.
“Then we got an email saying we were being made redundant.
“There were staff out working on the road who didn’t know what was happening and were finding out by text or Facebook.
“We feel really let down but we are all coming together to help each other and support people’s families. There were a lot of loyal workers so it’s a real shame. There has been a lot of anger.
“Some people had both wages coming in from the company and there were a lot of young families who were on zero hours contracts.”
Another member of staff said he was called into a meeting at head office to be given the news.
“People were left in the middle of the country with patients in ambulances, not knowing what to do,” he said.
“It was absolute chaos.”
One ex-employee added that urgent care health services across the region could suffer as a result.
Trust Medical provided a private ambulance service, their fleet of around 70 ambulances dealing with 150,000 private journeys and transfers across the country every year.
They also transported blood and organs, delivered training courses for clients including first aid, fire safety and health and safety in the workplace.
Trust Medical was set up in 2004 by founder and chairman Abe Elkinson, working alongside managing director Craig Pyne; Mr Pyne has had no involvement with the company for the last six months.
The firm expanded quickly to employ more than 200 staff across bases in Morecambe, Salford, Burton-on-Trent and Wakefield.
Trust Medical have as yet not been available for comment.
* North West Private Ambulance Liaison Services Ltd, also of Morecambe, wish it to be known that they are operating as usual.
“We constantly endeavours to support the NHS and provide crucial ambulance transportation across the north west,” they said.
“We are not in any financial difficulty and it is business as usual.
“We are endeavouring to assist with filling the void left by Trust Medical, to ensure patients don’t miss appointments or treatment, and staff receive any support we can provide them.
“As a CQC registered operator and active member of Independent Ambulance Association we take pride in the care treatment and transportation we provide to our customers and service users.
“If any Trust Medical staff are looking for employment within this sector please visit www.nwpals.co.uk and complete our online application form.”