Wigan ambulance team scrutinised by health watchdogs

Medical Response Services is an independent ambulance provider
Medical Response Services is an independent ambulance provider

An independent Wigan ambulance service has come under fire from health watchdogs following a “comprehensive” assessment.

Medical Response Services based on Cricket Lane near Robin Park, was slammed in a report published last week for failing to have adequate training and a lack of robust safeguarding policies.

The independent ambulance company, which transports patients to Wigan Infirmary and trusts across Lancashire, was visited by Ellen Armistead of the Care Quality Commission in November, but the report has not been made public until now.

Under a section entitled “services we do not rate,” the deputy inspector of hospitals (North): “Staff did not receive the appropriate training, to enable them to carry out the duties they were employed to perform.

“The provider did not have robust safeguarding procedures and processes that made sure patients were protected.

“Staff did not receive safeguarding training that was relevant and at a suitable level for their role.

“We found no evidence that it was updated at appropriate intervals and enabled them to recognise different types of abuse and the ways they could report concerns.

“The provider did not ensure that staff had completed pre-employment checks completed prior to undertaking employment including fit and proper persons assessments for directors.”

Inspectors also raised concerns about risk management, highlighting a concern that risks were not being tracked, managed or mitigated. Concerns were also voiced about a lack of “vision” and “strategy” for the service.

Despite her concerns, Ms Armistead praised the group for its quality in infection control.

In her report, she described the ambulances and the station as “visibly clean” and all of the vehicles “well maintained”.

Medical Response Services was also celebrated for its ability to cater to a diverse population including those who do not speak English and those who need specialist bariatric equipment.