• Ambulance service

St John Ambulance - South Region

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

16 Crowhurst Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8AP 0870 010 4950

Provided and run by:
St. John Ambulance

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 9 November 2022

St John Ambulance – South Region is a large independent service that provides urgent and emergency support to NHS ambulance services. The service has hubs across the south of England including in Ashford, Brighton, Bristol, Bicester, Bramford, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Grays, Guildford, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Norwich, Poole, Berkshire and Cornwall.

The service had not been inspected since the change in registration in 2020.

The current registered manager has been registered with the CQC since the service was registered.

The service provides the following services:

Emergency and Urgent Care Services (EUC)

St John Ambulance – South Region provides ambulances crewed with either ambulance care assistants, emergency ambulance crews, ambulance technicians or associate ambulance practitioners or paramedics to seven NHS ambulance trusts. The service also provides specialist ambulance solutions for the paediatric and neonatal decision support and retrieval service (PaNDR), an interdisciplinary team who provide specialist services for children up to the age of 16 years across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Essex, and the East of England adult critical care transfer services.

St John Ambulance – South Region provides comprehensive cover to events including sporting meetings and festivals. St John Ambulance – South Region also provided a ‘Night time economy’ service, which provided first aid and care to people socialising in city or town centres in the evening and early hours of the morning. Unless transport to hospital is provided, such provision is outside of the scope of registration. Provision within the scope of registration is reported under the EUC core service.

The service did not provide Patient Transport Services.

Overall inspection


Updated 9 November 2022

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. The service-controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. Staff collected safety information and used it to improve the service.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment. 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 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 planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long.
  • 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 engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.


  • The service’s audits did not always ensure leaders could monitor compliance fully.
  • The service did not always correctly label sharps bins when they were in use.
  • There was a low level of compliance for staff appraisal rates.
  • Some staff carried medicines with them that they were not trained to use.
  • The service’s medicines standard operating procedure did not make clear whether two staff needed to sign controlled drugs medicine’s records in line with best practice.