An ambulance service has been slammed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for not fully protecting the safety of patients.

Alpha Care Ambulance Service, which is based at the Greenlands Rural Business Centre in Moulsford, was handed a ‘requires improvement’ rating by CQC during its latest inspection of the service.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, rating health and social care services as outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

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During the inspection on November 23 2021, the CQC spoke with eight people; including managers, administration, ambulance technicians and providers using the service.

The regulator also reviewed three complaints, five incident forms, twelve staff training files, three staff files, three feedback forms, eight policies/procedures and patient records.


The CQC scored Alpha Care Ambulance Service as requires improvement in three overall areas: ‘Are services safe?’, ‘Are services effective?’ and ‘Are services well-led?’.

However, it also provided good ratings for ‘Are services caring?’ and ‘Are services responsive to people’s needs?’.

The two main services Alpha Care runs, patient transport services and emergency and care, were also both rated as requires improvement.


The inspector who summarised the report stated: “The governance and leadership of the service did not fully protect the safety of the patients. There was no oversight of mandatory training compliance rates. Staff did not always have or had not completed all the relevant training.

“Governance meetings and supervisions were not held and safety information was not collected in order to improve the service. Policies and procedures were not evidenced as being understood by staff.

“Governance and leadership of the service did not effectively manage performance. The service did not have a system to effectively manage risks or audit the quality of the service. Data was not used to make decisions and improvements. Leadership did not use monitoring.”

thisisoxfordshire: The rating system the CQC uses. Picture: CQC The rating system the CQC uses. Picture: CQC

Although, the inspector did note the service had enough staff to care for patients, infection risks were controlled well and people could access the service 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 took account of their individual needs.

“They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities.”

The inspector stated the actions Alpha Care must take to improve, are:

  • Ensuring a robust governance system is in place and understood by all staff, including audit processes, including management of risks and key performance indicators.
  • Review the documentation of supervision.
  • Ensure that medicines, including medical gases, are stored safety and within their recommended temperature ranges and that they are consistently available for staff when on duty.

Alpha Care Ambulance Service was approached for comment but failed to respond.


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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