Infection control issues including bird faeces, ‘visibly unclean’ vehicles and running water issues left Thames Ambulance Service with an Inadequate CQC rating.
The Lincolnshire and Grimsby transport service was inspected in October 2018. A report released today placed it as ‘inadequate’ for every category other than staff care.
Thames already faces losing its contract in Lincolnshire after a ‘no confidence vote’ from councillors. Commissioners said previously however it was not the “right time” to terminate the contract.
Today’s inspection report saw officials raise a number of concerns.
In one case, inspectors found that there was no running water at the Spalding base for staff to be able to clean vehicles.
Staff were also unable to give inspectors records of deep cleaning for the vehicles.
Amanda Stanford, deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said in the report that staff told inspectors that there was no formal method of deep cleaning wheelchairs.
“At the Spalding location staff told us that they did not have wipe clean cushions for wheelchairs which meant that when a patient soiled themselves, which happened occasionally, they would just have to wipe down the wheelchair and use spray,” she said.
“Staff told us that they would spray down the wheelchairs, they would be wet as a result and they would still then have to use them for another patient.”
Inspectors found “visibly unclean” vehicles in both Lincoln and Spalding.
Meanwhile, the Grimsby base had “ongoing issues with cleanliness and bird control” which had not been addressed since the last inspection.