In March 2019, the Care Quality Commission issued a report detailing the state of care in relation to independent ambulance services. It called upon patient transport providers and the wider system to do more to ensure the safety of patients that used these services, following a number of concerns identified during CQC inspections.
The national report analysed the quality and safety of these independent ambulance services and highlighted how many services had a poor understanding of governance which frequently led to a systemically poor recruitment process. This included the failure to enforce and sufficiently check employment references, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certification and driving licence categories.
An insufficient and inadequate recruitment process can be resolved with a dual approach, focusing on implementing a more thorough recruitment system and ensuring your policies are tailored to the compliance needs of your organisation. At CQC Compliance, our team are able to support you in both these areas, as our expert policy writing team have experience in creating bespoke policies and procedures for independent ambulance services. Furthermore, we work closely with our sister company CH Recruitment – who specialise in bespoke recruitment for healthcare providers.
Staff training was an area also highlighted by the CQC as requiring improvement in independent ambulance services. According to the report, many providers offered little or no training – including in emergency driver response training, escalating safeguarding concerns and effectively supporting those with mental health needs. Once again, at CQC Compliance our team are on hand to provide support and guidance to organisations who require additional training – either by conducting training seminars, providing training materials or offering ongoing management support.
In addition, at CQC Compliance we can conduct Medication and Compliance Audits, another area in which the Care Quality Commission found some providers were underperforming. This included a lack of understanding around controlled drugs, specifically around safe administration, licensing and secure storage. The solution to this often begins in having excellent, bespoke policies and procedures that can be rolled out across independent ambulance services.
Since this report was published, we have been supporting various independent ambulance services on their compliance journey – from registering with the CQC to improving overall CQC ratings.
If you are an independent ambulance service or patient transport provider struggling with any of these areas or looking to improve your service, then please get in touch.