Private ambulance service suspended over safety concerns

An independent ambulance service in Birmingham was suspended from operating for a month by the CQC after inspectors raised a number of concerns over staff training and safety procedures.

Transcare Secure Services Birmingham was rated inadequate and placed in special following the inspection in August.

The company specialises in transport for adults and children over 14 years of age and those detained under the Mental Health Act or Mental Capacity Act.

Inspectors found systems to make sure staff were competent for their roles were ineffective and safeguarding systems and process is were not implemented properly. Assessments of the risks identified lacked detail and did not demonstrate how they would be mitigated, said the CQC.

CQC head of hospital inspection Bernadette Hanney said the watchdog had used its powers to immediately suspend the service’s registration in order to protect people and give the company the opportunity to take action to address its concerns.

She said mandatory training in key skills weren’t always provided to staff, and no proper checks were done to see if they had received suitable training in previous roles.

‘Safety wasn’t promoted in recruitment practice and there was no system in place to ensure recruitment checks had been completed prior to new staff starting their employment,’ she said.

‘In addition, the service didn’t always control infection risk well and we saw dirt, litter and crumbs on the ambulance chairs and floor.’

The service had its registration suspended between 25 August and 30 September. Results of a follow up inspection are due for publication soon.

The CQC said it would continue to monitor the service closely and would not hesitate to take further action if needed.