• Ambulance service

Head Office

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

4 Suffolk Drive, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6UN

Provided and run by:
Medicare EMS Group UK Limited

Important: This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 4 October 2023

Head Office is operated by Medicare EMS Group UK Limited. It is an independent ambulance provider based in Chelmsford, Essex.

The service was established in 2003, providing medical cover and emergency transfers to hospitals for large event organisers. As the service developed, the events included, horse racing, concerts, large stadium events and football arenas.

The main location for the service is in Chelmsford, however they have seven satellite ambulance stations based in Hartlepool, Coventry, Aylesbury, Newbury, Ipswich, Norwich, and Braintree.

Events are not within our scope of regulation and therefore we do not inspect events. However, at some events, the service provided emergency transport and this falls into our scope of regulation.

In 2013 the service registered with Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the regulated activities of:

• Transport services, triage and medical advice provided remotely

• Treatment of disease, disorder, or injury

The registered manager has been in post since December 2013.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the service diversified to provide support to NHS emergency frontline ambulance services. Following on from this the service commenced frontline emergency response services crewed by paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMT) and emergency care support staff (ECA) for the NHS Trust.

The emergency response part of the service developed with the COVID-19 pandemic and the service now has contracts with three NHS Trusts.

The service has been through a period of growth. Between November 2022 and February 2023, the service acquisitioned a failing ambulance provider. In December 2022 and February 2023 negotiated a contract with a second independent ambulance provider, who was in the process of going into administration. This included the transfer of 200 staff members who were TUPE across, of which 34 were trainee (EMT) apprentices, plus 30 ambulances and some of the ambulance stations. TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations and its purpose is to protect employees if the business in which they are employed changes hands. Its effect is to move employees and any liabilities associated with them from the old employer to the new employer by operation of law.

The service was inspected in February 2022 where it received at overall rating of good, with well-led rated as outstanding.

We carried out a focused inspection on 4 and 5 July 2023 which did not include all the key lines of enquiries (KLOEs). The purpose of this focused inspection was to follow up whistleblowing concerns received by the CQC between the months of December 2022 and May 2023.

We highlighted our findings and concerns to the registered manager and the executive directors over the course of the inspection process.

At the inspection we identified regulatory breaches, we issued three requirement notices.

Overall inspection


Updated 4 October 2023

We inspected the emergency and urgent care service using a focused framework. Our inspection was announced (staff knew we were coming) with short notice to ensure that everyone we needed to talk to was available. Throughout the inspection, we visited ambulance stations in Chelmsford, Newbury and Aylesbury.

The purpose of this focused inspection was to follow up whistleblowing concerns referred to Care Quality Commission (CQC) between the months of December 2022 and May 2023.

Our rating of this location stayed the same. We rated it as good because:

  • The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept safe care records. Records were regularly audited.
  • The service provided mandatory training to staff and made sure everyone completed it. The service provided an emergency response driving Certificate in Emergency Response Ambulance Driving (CREAD) to support staff who did not have the qualification.
  • Ambulances and ambulance stations were well equipped. The design, maintenance and use of facilities, vehicles and equipment kept people safe. Staff were trained to use them. Staff managed clinical waste well. Areas and equipment we viewed were visibly clean.
  • The service managed patient safety incidents well. Staff recognised incidents and near misses and reported them appropriately.
  • There was a stable executive leadership team in place. Local leaders were visible, and staff felt supported.


  • Systems and protocols in place for medicines management were not consistently applied across the services.
  • Staff told us that whilst they felt supported and valued by their local leaders, they did not believe their opinions mattered to senior leaders. Staff we spoke with had not had an appraisal and did not have one planned.
  • Not all staff felt respected, supported, and valued by the senior management team. Some staff felt they could not raise concerns.