• Ambulance service

16/17 Kestrel Business Park Also known as First Care Ambulance

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Unit 16-17, Kestrel Business Park, Kestrel Way, Sowton Industrial Estate, Exeter, Devon, EX2 7JS (01392) 438522

Provided and run by:
First Care Ambulance Limited

Important: The provider of this service changed. See old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 8 September 2022

First Care Ambulance Limited was an independent ambulance service with its main headquarters based in Exeter and base stations in Barnstaple and Plymouth. The organisation primarily served the communities of Devon. Its regulated activities included non-emergency patient transport, mental health patient transport and neonatal & paediatric transport services. The registered manager was John Fraser who was also the managing director. We previously inspected this service in April 2018 however the service was not rated at this time.

The service had over 200 employees which included seven team leaders, five paramedics, eight technicians, seven controllers and 163 ambulance care technicians. The service has a fleet of approximately 80 vehicles.

Between June 2021 to May 2022, the service completed 70,032 patient transport journeys. During this period, the largest service provided was non-emergency patient transport which accounted for 90% of these journeys. Private and adhoc work accounted for 5%, COVID-19 patient transport 3.5%, neonatal and paediatric transport services 0.4% and mental health transport accounted for 0.3% of these journeys.

Overall inspection


Updated 8 September 2022

This was the first time this service was rated although it was previously inspected in 2018. We rated it as good because:

  • There were strong comprehensive and embedded systems, processes and procedures to keep people safe.
  • Patients individual needs and preferences were central to the planning and delivery of the service.
  • The service had a flexible and responsive approach and had developed a positive partnership with local commissioners.
  • Leaders had the skills and abilities to run the service. They understood and managed the priorities and issues the service faced. They were visible and approachable in the service for patients and staff.
  • There was a commitment by frontline staff and senior managers to provide a high-quality service for patients with a continual drive to improve the delivery of care.
  • The service managed infection risk well. Staff used equipment and control measures to protect patients, themselves and others from infection. They kept equipment, vehicles and the premises visibly clean.
  • The service made sure staff were competent for their roles.


  • Paramedic staff required safeguarding training at a higher level than was currently provided.
  • Staff were not routinely reporting vehicle and equipment defects.
  • The service should produce a report on how the company encourages workforce race and equality.
  • The Patient Group Directions (“PGD”) were outside of their review date.