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CQC takes action to protect the welfare of people through cancellation of Nottinghamshire private ambulance service’s registration

28 August 2015
Intrim Medical & Rescue Services Limited
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent legal action to stop a Nottinghamshire private ambulance service from being able to run ambulance services, following serious concerns about patient safety.

CQC’s decision to cancel the registration means that Intrim Medical and Rescue Services Limited can no longer legally operate a private ambulance service from its premises at Swinstead Close, Bilborough in Nottinghamshire.

Inspectors took this action because they had serious concerns about the service and the risks to people using it.

Intrim Medical and Rescue Services is an independent ambulance service that provides patient transport services for adults and children including mental health transfers, emergency medical cover and transport for events and repatriation.  

CQC carried out an inspection at the service on Wednesday, 13 May to follow up on concerns found at a previous inspection. Further concerns were identified, and as a result of these matters CQC decided urgent action was needed to ensure people were protected.

On Friday, 15 May, CQC was successful in its application to Nottingham Magistrates Court to cancel the registration (section 30) of Intrim Medical and Rescue Services Limited, with immediate effect.

Heidi Smoult, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals in CQC’s Central region, said:

“The failings we witnessed at Intrim Medical and Rescue Services Limited were completely unacceptable. CQC took swift action to protect the safety and wellbeing of people using the service by moving to urgently cancel this service’s registration, meaning it could no longer operate.

“Taking action leading to the closure of any service is not something that we take lightly, but when we find very poor practice, as we did in this case, we have no choice but to take action to protect the safety and welfare of people.

“This sends a strong public message that we will not hesitate to take tough action if a provider fails to meet the standards for care that everyone has the right to expect.”

Heidi Smoult added: “Our priority is always the safety of people using health and social care services and we would not take this kind of action if we did not feel there was a serious risk to people, their health and wellbeing or that the environment they were in was unsafe.”

The report from this inspection highlights a number of serious shortfalls that led to CQC using their urgent enforcement powers including:

  • There was insufficient provision of safe and suitable equipment. This included some life preserving equipment and meant patients may not receive the care they needed, so there would be a risk to their life, health, or well-being. Systems were not in place to ensure the risk of the spread of infection was being effectively managed.
  • The provider did not have processes and systems in place to monitor the quality of the service being provided. The lack of systems meant no actions were being taken to suitably equip the ambulances and ensure that equipment was safe for use. In addition, medications were not suitably secure and some were out of date and not safe for patient use.

A full report for the service has been published on CQC’s website today.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC took action under Section 30 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to cancel the registration of Intrim Medical and Rescue Services Limited, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.

All CQC’s enforcement action is subject to appeal and the provider had a 28 day period to challenge the decision. 

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.