• 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

All Inspections

4th & 5th July 2023

During an inspection looking at part of the service

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.

23 February 2022

During a routine inspection

The service was last inspected in 2017 and met the standards required, however we did not have the powers to rate the independent ambulance services. This is the first time we have inspected this location and applied under our new ratings. We rated it as good because:

  • The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Service leaders implemented innovative ways of addressing staffing capacity and skill mix. Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. They managed medicines well and influenced other providers to improve medicines safety. The service used and developed systems and process to safely prescribe, administer, record, store and audit medicines.
  • The service provided mandatory training to staff and made sure everyone completed it. Mandatory training covered a broad range of key skills and the service involved staff in developing the training. The service had established their own training centre which was opening in July 2022 and had already gained accreditation to provide courses for trainee associate ambulance practitioners. The service was proactive in gaining qualified trainers to undertake emergency response (blue light) training. They supported their own staff and external candidates with training courses.
  • The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. It was easy for people to raise concerns about care received. The service treated concerns and complaints seriously, investigated them and shared lessons learned with all staff. The service included patients in the investigation of their complaint. The service encouraged patients to raise concerns and staff were confident to report all concerns and near misses.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment and gave pain relief when they needed it. The service met agreed response times. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients and supported them to make decisions about their care. Staff had access to useful information.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families, and carers.
  • The service worked with their commissioners and partner organisations to ensure that services were tailored to meet the needs of the local population. Managers worked well with their partners and influenced changes in clinical practice across the sectors they worked in. The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving care continually.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported, and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities.


  • The service could explore more innovative ways to obtain patient feedback. At present, feedback was obtained online and through paper form, through the commissioners, staff or patients email directly. We did see some positive comments. For those who do not have access to online feedback, alternative ways could be developed to gain a more diverse range of people’s voice.

5 December 2018

During a routine inspection

Head Office is operated by Medicare EMS Group UK Limited. The main service provided by Medicare EMS Group UK Limited was first aid and medical cover for events. Events are not within our scope of regulation and we do not inspect events. However, at some events, the service provided emergency transport. Emergency patient transfers fall into our scope of regulation and require inspection.

The service provides support to event organisers in need of event medical cover. Events include horseracing, concerts and other large stadium events. Medicare EMS Group UK Limited supply rapid response vehicles crewed by paramedics, emergency medical technicians and first aid personnel.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the announced part of the inspection on 05 December 2017, along with an unannounced visit on 15 December 2017.

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.

From January to November 2017, Medicare EMS UK Limited completed 104 patient transfers by ambulance, from an event to an emergency department. We inspected this service under our urgent and emergency care framework.

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:

  • Staff knew how to report incidents and learning from incidents was shared.
  • There were safeguarding systems and processes to ensure that people were kept safe.
  • Vehicles and equipment were visibly clean and serviced.
  • Records were completed appropriately and stored securely.
  • Medicines, including controlled drugs, were stored securely and in date.
  • Policies and procedures were based on best practice, legislation and relevant national guidance and were easily accessible for staff.
  • Staff had the skills, knowledge and training to deliver effective care and treatment.
  • The service had introduced the trauma network standards within their horseracing portfolio to ensure jockeys received the best quality outcomes following a traumatic injury.
  • Patient and client feedback was consistently positive.
  • There were clear lines of management responsibility and accountability, The executive management team displayed a clear ethos of patient safety and delivering a high standard of medical care.

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

  • The service did not date patient feedback forms, therefore it was unclear when the patient feedback had been obtained. We raised this on our inspection and the service was responsive, immediately editing the patient feedback forms to include the date.

Heidi Smoult

Deputy Chief Inspector on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals