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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Updated 11 May 2018

E-Zec Medical Transport Services Hereford is operated by E-Zec Medical Transport Services Limited. The service provides patient transport service to patients who are registered with a GP in Herefordshire and surrounding area including parts of Wales who meet the eligibility criteria agreed with the commissioners.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the announced part of the inspection on 6 March 2018 and an unannounced visit on the 15 March 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 provider understood and complied with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

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 service providers need to improve and take regulatory action as necessary.

We found the following areas of good practice:

  • There was an effective system and policy in place to report and respond appropriately to incidents. Learning was shared.

  • There were effective systems and processes in place to protect people from the spread of infection and to safeguard patients from the risk of abuse.

  • Patients’ individual care records were written and managed appropriately, in line with good practice. Appropriate protocols were in place to assess and respond to patient risk. Staff had access to relevant information when needed.

  • Patient records had detailed risk assessments and were legible. Identifiable information was stored securely.

  • The service planned for any anticipated risk and these were outlined in the business continuity policy. Staff understood their roles in a major incident.

  • Staff understood the relevant consent and decision-making requirements of legislation and guidance, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

  • Care was provided in a dignified way. Feedback received from patients was very positive. Staff kept patients and families well informed about their journey.

  • The service effectively planned and delivered services based on patient needs and took into account the different needs of patients they transferred.

  • Effective procedures were in place to respond and learn from complaints.

  • The service had an open culture, fully focused on safe and high quality patient care.

  • Leaders had the skills, knowledge, experience, and integrity they needed to ensure the service met patient needs.

However, we also found the following issues that the service provider needs to improve:

  • Staff stored both full and nominally empty oxygen cylinders together in a secured cage. There was a risk that staff could pick up an empty cylinder in error, which could pose potential risk to a patient requiring oxygen therapy. We raised this with senior staff at the time of our inspection who said they would address the concern. This had not improved by the time of our unannounced inspection, which took place nine days following the announced inspection.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it must take an action to comply with the regulations and that it should make other improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve. We also issued the provider with one requirement notice that affected the patient transport service. Details are at the end of the report.

Heidi Smoult

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (Central Region)

On behalf of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Inspection areas


Updated 11 May 2018


Updated 11 May 2018


Updated 11 May 2018


Updated 11 May 2018


Updated 11 May 2018