All too often, you hear of Event Medical Companies and Independent Ambulance Services purporting to “Going the Extra Mile”, when their claims really amount to what we would call a “standard service”, or trying to sell best practice as a unique selling point... This is not “going the extra mile”, it’s acceptable and achievable standards to running an adequate service... here are some examples of what GB-EMS do as standard, which should by no means be unique, but sadly, in some cases they are.
Recruitment – Our recruitment procedure, however lengthy, is robust. Our applicants are checked, double checked, interviewed, assessed and inducted. Every individual working on behalf of GB-EMS has had their competency and qualifications checked, they’ve had their criminal records checked (DBS) at the most enhanced level available to us and what’s more, is these checks are re-run on a regular basis, to ensure that nothing has changed. Only once we’re completely satisfied that the individual is up to scratch, do we allow them to work for us. Whilst it might appear elitist, given the people we’re dealing with on a daily basis, the other options really don’t bear thinking about.
Clinical Governance – We’ve a Clinical Governance Team consisting of a Doctor, a Paramedic, a Nurse and an Advanced Ambulance Technician, this team sets, monitors and reviews clinical standards across the company, from setting and reviewing clinical policies, to auditing patient contact and managing clinical incidents (which thankfully are few and far between). This team maintains order at the core of the medical treatment we provide, they also allow us to look at the services we’re providing, make appropriate changes and generally further improve the quality of our services. Without the guidance and continued work of these very experienced and knowledgeable medical professionals, we’d never achieve the high standards we’re striving for.
24/7 Support for Staff – At GB-EMS, we operate a 24/7 On Call Duty Manager to offer procedural and clinical support for our staff (and a point of contact for our clients, out of hours). This means that at any time, day or night, our crews can call and speak to a senior clinician and senior member of the management team. They are ideal for advice, a second opinion, or an incident review. It is vital that any member of staff working for an organisation feels valued and supported. Our “On Call” System, provides that support, not only at the end of the phone, but also, if required, in person, either by mucking in at a busy event, or providing support or de-briefing after a critical incident.
Continuous Investment – With advances in Medical Technology, changes in best practice guidance and additional resources being required to manage events and transport services safely, continuous investment in both equipment and the staff-base is massively essential to maintain the forefront of medical provision. If investment stagnates, the service will start to fall behind and the next thing you know, you’re in a while world of issues, with no way out.
Mandatory Update Training and CPD – This is something GB-EMS takes extremely seriously. Each member of staff must attend an Induction (on Joining the Company).. an Annual Mandatory Update Day and a plethora of CPD (Continued Professional Development) Study Days, to ensure they’re not only up to date with best practice, but also allowing them to develop as individuals and clinicians. We find it important that our team not only maintains their qualifications, but also learn new skills and ways of thinking to keep them sharp and at the forefront of their profession.
Personal Safety – We have procedures in place governing lone working, Vehicle hand portable radios with an SOS Function and services such as Vehicle Tracking, Telematics and Vehicle Telephony. We take the safety of our crews extremely seriously and as anyone who has activated their SOS button knows.. We’re on it.. as quickly and as calmly as possible..
Driver Training – Every driver in the company is subject to a competency assessment upon commencing their employment, they’re also subject to regular re-assessment to ensure they keep up the required standard. Those wishing to become Emergency Drivers must hold a Regulated (Nationally Recognised) Emergency Driving Qualification at Level 3 or above. We’ve seen several posts on social media recently regarding organisations who do not require that their employees hold any form of emergency driver qualification to be able to undertake emergency driving, with patients on board, on the public highway. that’s scary and no to mention; extremely dangerous. Certainly not something we’d be happy subscribing to.
CQC – Here’s a can of worms... As we understand it, the Care Quality Commission regulates independent ambulance services who wish to provide Ambulance Transport Services and Medical Treatment above the level of a standard first aider. We’re registered and regulated, which means we’ve achieved the standards required to be able to provide these services and are regularly re-inspected to ensure continued compliance with their regulations. For those services who are not registered, there’s a possibility that they may still be at the same standard (at least we’d like to hope so), but it’s technically illegal for them to be providing these services to the general public. This means either, they act outside of the rules, they contract a third party to provide the regulated services, or they rely on the local NHS ambulance service to pick up anyone needing hospital treatment. As a CQC Registered and Regulated Service, we can (and do) provide all the requirements in house, without needing to rely on any of those three options. This isn’t an “Extra Mile” situation, it’s something that should be standard and uniform across the board.
Eyes and Ears – Our crews, during the course of their daily workload are constantly watching and listening... they learn to spot potential issues before they present, they even pick up on subtle nuances associated with things like “Safeguarding Issues”, spotting the signs of potential abuse from a distance and reporting these to the appropriate authorities (using correct procedures of course).
The Patient experience – from taking Mrs Smith to her eye appointment, to a person presenting at a medical centre with chest pain and everything in between (and either side).. every patient experience is different, they (and we) are all individuals and certainly don’t expect a “one size fits all” approach. So, we don’t offer one. Whilst we honour the core values of safety, dignity and best practice, we do so with a certain flair... making the users to our services feel welcome, valued, safe... and most importantly... better.
This is not the extra mile. Every one of these points could be seen as a unique selling point, something to shout about in the great cacophony of the medical industry... but let’s face it... everyone should be doing this (and a lot more) as standard, those that aren’t, should be brought up to standard... and those that are, should be striving for further improvement, veering ever closer to the seemingly unobtainable perfection. At GB-EMS, We do all this.. and we like to think we do it well... but it’s certainly not what sets us aside from other companies. That my friends... is our team, not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at the enthusiasm, professionalism and utter wit of those staff working on the front-line of GB-EMS, That... is OUR USP!