An ambulance service has been criticized by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for failing to fully safeguard patient safety.
The Alpha Care ambulance service, which is based at the Greenlands Rural Business Center in Moulsford, was given a ‘needs improvement’ rating by the CQC when it last inspected the service.
The CQC is the independent regulator of adult health and social care in England, rating health and social care services as outstanding, good, in need of improvement and inadequate.
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During the November 23, 2021 inspection, the CQC spoke to eight people; including managers, administration, ambulance technicians and vendors using the service.
The regulator also reviewed three complaints, five incident forms, twelve staff training records, three staff records, three feedback forms, eight policies/procedures and patient records.
The CQC rated Alpha Care Ambulance Service as needing improvement in three general areas: “Are the services safe? », « Are the services effective? and ‘Are the services well managed?’.
However, it also provided good marks for “Are the services benevolent?” and ‘Do the services meet people’s needs?’.
The two main services managed by Alpha Care, patient transport services and emergency and care services, were also assessed as requiring improvement.
The inspector who summarized the report said: “The governance and management of the service did not fully protect patient safety. There was no monitoring of mandatory training compliance rates. Staff did not always have or had not completed all relevant training.
“Governance meetings and supervisions did not take place and security information was not collected in order to improve the service. Policies and procedures have not been demonstrated to be understood by staff.
“The department’s governance and management did not effectively manage performance. The service did not have a system to effectively manage risk or audit service quality. The data was not used to make decisions and improvements. Management did not use supervision.
Although the inspector noted that the ward had enough staff to care for patients, infection risks were well controlled and people could access the ward when they needed it.
The report stated: “Staff provided good care and treatment. Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and accommodated their individual needs.
“They provided emotional support to patients, families and caregivers. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of the patients receiving care. Staff were clear on their roles and responsibilities.
The inspector said the actions Alpha Care needs to take to improve are:
- Ensure a robust governance system is in place and understood by all staff, including audit processes including risk management and key performance indicators.
- Review supervision documentation.
- Ensure medications, including medical gases, are stored safely and within recommended temperature ranges and are always available to on-duty personnel.
Alpha Care Ambulance Service was approached for comment but did not respond.
This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.
You can contact her by email: [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry
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