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Archived: East Anglian Air Ambulance - Norwich Base

This service is now registered at a different address - see new profile

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Updated 26 March 2018

East Anglian Air Ambulance - Norwich Base is operated by East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and is a registered charity. It provides a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) and rapid response vehicle from its air base in Norwich. The service responds to demands from the local NHS ambulance trust emergency control room, where critical care paramedics triage emergency 999 calls and liaise with EAAA to deploy the most appropriate resource.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out an announced inspection on 5 February 2018.

To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we ask the same five questions of all services: are they safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs, and well-led?

Throughout the inspection, we took account of what people told us and how the service understood and complied with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The main service provided by this service was emergency and urgent care.

Services we do not rate

We regulate independent ambulance services but we do not currently have a legal duty to rate them. We highlight good practice and issues that services need to improve and take regulatory action as necessary.

We found the following areas of good practice:

  • The provider promoted a positive culture of learning and development. This included learning from incidents, encouraging staff development, promoting high standards of clinical knowledge, and increasing understanding of prehospital emergency medicine on patient survival rates.

  • Staff maintained emergency equipment, medication, consumables, the air ambulance, and the rapid response vehicle to a high standard so the vehicles were ready for rapid deployment to emergencies.

  • The registered manager ensured policies and standard operating procedures, were comprehensive and reviewed in line with set review dates. The provider had embedded processes for maintaining patient safety, for example safeguarding and complaints and staff knew how to respond to and escalate any safeguarding concerns.

  • There were effective systems in place to monitor service delivery and to improve performance, these included monitoring patient outcomes, and response times. The provider was part of local and regional networks to share performance data, adopt innovation, and quality improvement was at the heart of the service.

  • The provider had established governance systems to monitor incidents, risk, and quality. Risk was owned at all levels of the organisation and managed appropriately, with key time scales and mitigating actions to reduce any adverse impact on the service, staff, and patients.

  • Patient and stakeholder feedback was universally positive, with examples of staff going the extra mile to provide a service that was caring, responsive and met the needs of the local population.

  • The provider had a clear mission, vision, and five-year development strategy focused on meeting the needs of the local population, enhancing staff training, skills, and knowledge whilst promoting innovation in prehospital emergency medicine.

  • Staff universally described a positive working culture focused on providing patients with high standards of care, promoting team working with high levels of respect for colleagues and the leaders within the service.

  • The service promoted the health and welfare of staff in innovative ways, including additional training in relation to promoting wellbeing, dealing with mental health and celebrating staff success.

  • Staff described managers as highly approachable, supportive, and caring. The provider used innovative ways to promote staff wellbeing. A dedicated aftercare service for patients enabled staff to engage with the patient and discuss what happened to them as part of their recuperation.

  • During our inspection, we found high levels of engagement with the service’s vision and strategy, led by the trustees and senior management team, and supported by the operational team, fundraising and volunteer staff.

Heidi Smoult

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection areas

Safe

Updated 26 March 2018

Effective

Updated 26 March 2018

Caring

Updated 26 March 2018

Responsive

Updated 26 March 2018

Well-led

Updated 26 March 2018

Checks on specific services

Emergency and urgent care

Updated 26 March 2018

The main service we inspected was urgent and emergency services.

We inspected but did not rate the service, however we found:

  • The service had an incident reporting policy, staff knew how to report incidents, and there was a learning culture where the provider shared learning from incidents internally and with other providers.

  • Staff benefitted from comprehensive mandatory and optional training, the provider monitored staff competencies, and the appraisals system encouraged staff to develop and maintain professional standards.

  • Staff maintained equipment, vehicles, consumables, medication, and the environment to ensure the service could deploy staff and resources with minimal delay.

  • The service had systems and processes reflecting relevant up to date safeguarding legislation to safeguard adults and children from abuse.

  • The provider monitored patient outcomes, response times, and the quality of the service as part of ongoing quality improvement.

  • Patient feedback was consistently positive; patients described staff as professional, caring, and respecting their wishes.

  • The provider took into account the needs of the local population and worked with other agencies to develop the service.

  • There were established governance systems to monitor incidents, risk, and quality.

  • Staff described managers as highly approachable, supportive, and caring. The provider used innovative ways to promote staff wellbeing.

  • During our inspection, we found high levels of staff engagement with the service’s vision and strategy.