ERS Medical North Rated “Good” By CQC
Inspection undertaken as part of a random selection to test the reliability of the CQC’s new monitoring approach.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, has rated ERS Medical’s North as “good” following an inspection in May 2022.
The CQC inspected ERS Medical’s Leeds and Manchester operational bases. They also visited two hospital sites where patients were being transported. The inspectors spoke with ERS Medical staff who worked at the Leeds, Manchester and Crewe bases including ambulance care assistants, operations managers, team leaders, the regional manager, the operations lead and a member of the quality and governance team. They observed the care of patients and reviewed patient records. Additionally, they inspected some of the vehicles and reviewed a range of governance records including policies, vehicle maintenance records, operational reports and meeting minutes.
The CQC inspector also spoke with patients who said that ERS Medical crews treated them well and with kindness. One patient told the inspector that staff had been ‘very gentle’ when moving them. Another patient told them that staff had been ‘very kind’. Written feedback from one patient included that the friendliness of staff and their ‘chatty’ approach helped them to feel less nervous.
ERS Medical encourages patients and their families to give feedback via an onboard patient feedback survey. Results of the survey were consistently positive about the service received from staff from all the bases in the north. For example, in Manchester 98% of patients surveyed said the service was good or very good.
Comments from patients included that staff were ‘lovely and bubbly’, ‘calm’, ‘excellent’ and ‘friendly and professional. In Leeds, the results were 99% and comments included that staff were ‘kind and understanding’ and the service was ‘first class’. One patient stated they ‘had a good talk and felt safe’ and a relative said staff were ‘absolutely wonderful with my husband’. In Crewe, survey results were 100%. Comments included that staff were ‘excellent, professional and friendly’, and that they ‘transferred me with dignity and care’.
Anthony Lloyd, Senior Operations Manager for ERS Medical North, said: “We were pleased to welcome the CQC to our Northern sites. This rating is a testament to the high level of service we provide to our NHS customers and thousands of patients in the region. I’m very proud of our crews and teams across Leeds, Manchester and Crewe who work collectively to truly deliver a reliable and caring service.”
The CQC’s inspection covered five ‘key lines of enquiry’ that they ask of all care services: Are they safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led.
Highlights from the CQC’s inspection report for ERS Medical’s service include:
- Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and took account of their individual needs. Staff provided emotional support to patients, families and carers to minimise their distress. They understood patients’ personal, cultural and religious needs.
- Staff received and kept up-to-date with their mandatory training. Mandatory training was delivered as part of staff induction. Compliance was high with more than 98% of staff having completed updates in the last year. Any staff member waiting for a training update was taken “off road” until this was successfully completed.
- The service was inclusive and took account of patients’ individual needs and preferences. People could access the service when they needed it, in line with identified standards, and received the right care in a timely way.
- Leaders had the skills and abilities to run the service. They understood and managed the priorities and issues the service faced. They were visible and approachable in the service for patients and staff. They supported staff to develop their skills and take on more senior roles.
- The service controlled infection risk well. Staff used equipment and control measures to protect patients, themselves and others from infection.
- Staff protected the rights of patients subject to the Mental Health Act 1983.
- It was easy for people to give feedback and raise concerns about care received. The service treated concerns and complaints seriously, investigated them and shared lessons learned with all staff, including those in partner organisations.
The full report can be viewed on the CQC website