In fact, privatisation has impacted on various sectors of the NHS over the last few years, whilst the spectre of Brexit and any future trade deal with the U.S. could see this become even more commonplace in the future.
In this post, we’ll look at the growing reliance that the NHS has on private ambulance services, whilst asking how companies that operate in this space can achieve success when working with the healthcare service.
The NHS and Private Ambulances – A Marriage of Convenience
Of course, a chronic shortage of staff and inadequate funding has caused havoc in the NHS and underpinned the subsequent drive to privatise, whilst causing ongoing issues surrounding recruitment and the delivery of efficient healthcare at every stage of the patient journey.
This has certainly impacted on the delivery of emergency care and response time, with England’s ambulance trusts having spent more than £92 million last year on private transportation and taxis to ferry patients.
This issue is most prominent in the south of England, where almost one-in-five emergency calls are responded to by a private ambulance that has been dispatched to the scene.
Whilst some argue that privatising elements of the NHS lead to greater efficiency and speedier response times, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published a damning report that patients are being put at risk by an over-reliance on private ambulances.
More specifically, the report found that some firms were failing to obtain references and carry out criminal record checks when hiring and training their staff, creating a scenario where patents were being tended to do by private EMTs that fail to meet the prevailing NHS standards.
How Can Your Ambulance Service Work Successfully with the NHS?
Of course, as the demand for private ambulance services increases in the UK, it’s little wonder that entrepreneurs are looking to move aggressively into this space.
However; service providers must be disciplined and tick a number of different boxes if they’re to work with the NHS and ultimately improve the quality of care being delivered to patients.
One of the most important things is to ensure the quality of your equipment, from your communication systems to the tools that deliver emergency medical treatments. These components should be tested stringently using an rf generator, or you’ll run the risk of failing to communicate effectively with the emergency services in real-time.
Beyond this, the most important thing is to ensure that your staff members are highly trained and compliant with the standards imposed by the NHS. At the same time, every employee that works within your service should have been fully vetted and background checked, with references and DBS checks required to guarantee each individual’s integrity.
These small but actionable steps can make a big difference, and ultimately help the NHS to outsource ambulance services in the UK without compromising on the standard of patient care and response times.