Hampshire & Isle of Wight

SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service South 'inadequate'

SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service base in Fareham Image copyright Google
Image caption Inspectors visited the ambulance station in Fareham in August and September

An ambulance service has been placed into special measures after being rated inadequate by inspectors.

SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service South provides emergency and urgent care transport services for NHS trusts in the south of England.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said visits to SSG's station in Fareham, Hampshire, revealed unsafe management of medicines and lack of training.

SSG said it had improved procedures and would work to resolve remaining issues.

The CQC said inspectors visited SSG at Wickham Road, Fareham, in August and September after concerns were raised, including a crash involving an ambulance.

'Restore confidence'

They found medicines were not managed safely and securely, and there was no evidence that paramedics had completed training to administer medicines safely.

SSG was also unable to say how many people it employed, or whether staff all held current disclosure barring checks and professional registrations.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Nigel Acheson said: "We were extremely concerned at the disconnect we identified between the senior team and the staff working on the frontline."

A statement from SSG's directors said the company had improved management practices and operating procedures.

It added: "We are confident that the actions we have taken so far, together with further actions planned, will help us restore full CQC regulators' confidence in SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service."

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) said it had suspended its use of SSG's services in Hampshire, Portsmouth and parts of Berkshire.

A spokesman said: "The suspension will remain in place until SCAS has revisited SSG to assure ourselves that any issues have been resolved in order to maintain a safe level of care to our patients."

According to the CQC, SSG UK Ambulance South primarily serves Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth.

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