Off-Duty E-zec ACAs on Hand to Help

Two off-duty ambulance care assistants (ACAs) acted selflessly upon coming across a three-car collision, and were quickly on hand to assist.

E-zec’s Graham Lawrence and Stephen Harding, based at the company’s Dorset operations, were driving back towards Weymouth from Sherborne after finishing their shift, and came across a three-car collision with only a fire engine in attendance. With their knowledge and expertise, they decided to stop and support those involved, while waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive. 

Graham said: “When we approached Charlton Down, we came across the incident which had not long happened – there were two damaged cars in the road and one that had lost control and flew through the hedge and into the neighbouring field. The driver of this car was trapped in his seat, and the fire crew were assessing how to remove him safely. 

“In the meantime, an off-duty LAS Paramedic also arrived on scene, and together we got an IV into the driver, took his stats, and gave him some oxygen. He had sustained a head injury due to the impact and was experiencing some memory loss, so we talked to him, providing comfort and reassurance. And while the fire crew cut the roof off of the car, we held a sheet over him to protect him from the debris.” 

“Once the roof was removed and the ambulance crew present, we helped the gentleman onto the stretcher and proceeded to encase him with a VAC mat, which was used to immobilise him as we suspected he had broken his right clavicle,” added Steve.  

Kerena O’Connell, National Safeguarding Lead and Operations Manager at E-zec Dorset, explained: “We’re so incredibly proud of Graham and Steve, and are grateful for their selfless quick-thinking to support the fire crew in what must have been a difficult and distressing situation. They’re a real asset to the team, and encompass all that E-zec promotes – supporting our local communities, and making them a better, and safer, place to be. 

“We were contacted by David Foxwell, Crew Manager at Dorchester Fire Service, who passed on his thanks and gratitude for their voluntary assistance – priding them for their professionalism and duty of care.”

Apprenticeship Programme: Open Days announced

Apply for an ACA apprenticeship in E-zec's new programme

E-zec is delighted and excited to announce the launch of its partnership with Basegreen Academy who, as E-zec’s preferred Training Provider, will be supporting both new and existing ACAs through the Ambulance Support Worker Level 3 Apprenticeship Programme. This powerful venture has been months in the planning and is now ready to add real value to our people, our service users and our communities. Working with Basegreen Academy, E-zec is hosting four Open Days where potential ACAs can see first hand what goes on behind the scenes at an E-zec operational hub and chat to colleagues about how challenging, rewarding and fulfilling a career in patient transport can be.
E-zec’s Apprenticeship Programme will see the company commit to a spend of £7,000 on each of its candidate’s development, while providing them with a clear career pathway within the business and in a healthcare setting.
The open days are as follows:
⭐️ Redruth, Cornwall – 24th November 2022
⭐️ Shrewsbury – 28th & 29th November 2022
⭐️ Hereford – 30th November 2022
⭐️ Worcester – 1st December 2022
and you can register your interest using the QR code below. The vacancy details are:
🔵 Cornwall
🔵 Shrewsbury
🔵 Hereford
🔵 Worcester

Introducing the ACA Academy

Training in the Yorkshire contact as part of the launch of the ACA Academy

This month spear-heads the roll-out of the company’s new ACA Academy. The first part of this is a new, world-class induction programme that takes all our new recruits along a Journey to Performance. Developed by our Head of Learning and Development, Simon Pill, our new 12-week programme focuses on much more on vocational, interactive learning and ensures our new colleagues have all the support they need to excel as Ambulance Care Assistants.

For our more experienced colleagues the Academy then offers up a whole new world of opportunities through Apprenticeship learning and clinical development programmes. Our new colleagues in our Wiltshire and Dorset contracts were the first to join the Academy.

Following the launch of the E-zec’s ACA Academy, Chief People Officer Justine Vaughan said: “We are thrilled to have developed and implemented a Learning Programme for our colleagues which we believe truly sets us apart, with the focus being on colleague development and career advancement; we recognise that’s what’s really important to people and will help us to attract and retain the very best people. E-zec is committed to providing internal growth and job enrichment through improved in-house training, coupled with the ability for our colleagues to enrol onto apprenticeship programmes is something our teams have welcomed with open arms.”

E-zec Medical Transport has 32 operational locations throughout the UK, making around 750,000 journeys a year, predominantly delivering Non Emergency Patient Transport to and from healthcare facilities all around the UK. With over 1,400 employees, most of whom are road-based colleagues and with 550 specialist ambulances in its fleet, E-zec is the largest independent ambulance company in England.

E-zec Worcester rated as GOOD by the CQC

E-zec is delighted to announce that its Worcester Operations have been rated Good by the CQC following an unannounced comprehensive inspection looking into all aspects of the service.

The service was rated as good because:

• The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. Staff collected safety information and used it to improve the service.

• Staff provided good care and treatment. The service mostly met agreed response times. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent.

• Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.

• The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.

• Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff mostly understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. 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 service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.

Following the publication of the Worcester report, E-zec’s CEO Craig Smith was keen to reflect on it as another clear step forwards in desire to deliver the very best service to patients: “It is really pleasing to see the positive progression in our latest CQC report. Getting ‘Good’ across all five quality domains is a great achievement and is a clear inflection point of our Quality Strategy. Our core value of ‘Listening, Learning and Adapting’ is instilling a culture of unrelenting pursuit of excellence across the business. We will ensure the feedback received will create clear action plans to support our overall aspiration to deliver the very highest quality of services to our service users.  Well done to the whole team who contributed to the outcome.”

And Fay Downes, Senior Operations Manager for Worcester spoke of her pride for the team she manages:

“I have thanked them for all the hard work, efforts, support and their commitment to the contract, to E-zec and our service users. It really has been a team effort and I am so appreciative of my team.”

E-zec Worcestershire’s fleet includes 38 ambulances and has its main base in Worcester, with satellite bases in Kidderminster and Redditch. 

The CQC’s full report can be found here.

E-zec’s ongoing court case with HMRC: the latest

E-zec ambulance

“The team here at E-zec has recently received some positive news in an ongoing case against HMRC, and whilst it’s not yet all set in stone we did want to share an update. Along with other PTS providers, we’ve been challenging HMRC on an element of VAT law and how they classify some of the vehicles used across the patient transport sector. The case was finally heard and considered, and the Judge agreed with us that the current interpretation wasn’t right, and was causing real inconsistency across the board. His judgement gave clarity for the whole industry moving forwards. 

HMRC have the right to appeal but if the original decision remains unchanged we do see this as a milestone for the sector. The suggested new VAT rules would allow us, and all others who transport patients in the same way, to operate to the same rules as others in allied industries. Importantly, it will also remove a key business risk that we’ve have had to invest significant time and resource to manage. This resource will now be freed up to further support our people, our clients and their patients. 

We’ll know whether HMRC intends to appeal later in October and we’ll be in touch again then to let you know. For now though, we’re pleased to have taken a stand for what we believe was right, and – hopefully – for a more level playing field moving forwards.”

Rob Harvey, Chief Financial Officer

Benefits, wellbeing and engagement platform launches

The end of August saw the launch of E-zec’s new benefits, wellbeing and engagement platform, which all of its employees could use and benefit from, with immediate effect.

Available as an app that can be downloaded from the app store for android and Apple devices, online and nestled in E-zec’s colleague portal ‘My E-zec’, the innovative tool provides a number of benefits, including:

Shopping discounts including most of the main supermarkets for grocery shopping through to money-off purchases of home furnishing, clothes, restaurants, short breaks and a variety of luxury goods

Round-the-clock online GP consultation including a private prescription service.

Access to various Cash Plan Services that can provide colleagues and their families with peace of mind if they become unexpectedly ill or if the very worst happens.

An Employee Assistance Programme providing counselling support 24/7, 365 days a year, including a confidential helpline for medical, legal and financial matters as well as access to an online library of self-help tools and webinars to help support physical and mental health and wellbeing.

An ambulance care assistant based (ACA) in Bristol has already benefitted from the online GP service saying:

I had suddenly developed an infection that if it had developed further would have meant me taking time off work over a weekend shift. I called the GP service, secured a video call appointment with a lovely GP who prescribed antibiotics, which I collected from my local pharmacy before starting when the next morning. No way would it have been so straight forward at my normal GP surgery – I wouldn’t have had an appointment until the Monday and even then would have had to hold for an appointment at 8.30 in the morning, having suffered with symptoms all weekend.”

Similarly, a colleague based in Somerset secured a huge discount on new carpets for his home, using the 8% discount on offer at Carpetright.

Using a combination of discounts from E-zec’s app and Blue Light Card, others have saved 14% on their weekly shop at Asda.

E-zec’s new platform can be used in conjunction with existing retailer-specific discount and voucher schemes as well as Blue Light Card savings and promotions.

Of the platform’s launch, E-zec’s Chief People Officer Justine Vaughan said: “We are delighted to have recently launched our new and very exciting Benefits and Rewards based platform for all E-zec colleagues.  

Recognising our ‘People First’ company value means that we truly believe that our colleagues should come first by providing access to a variety of Wellbeing, Engagement and Discounted benefits and it has been very positively received internally. In addition to the benefits our colleagues have already started to enjoy, our focus on colleague wellbeing is now being further supported by providing access to immediate 24 hr, seven-day access to GP support, enabling colleagues to access medical assistance when they need it and when it’s convenient for them. This a huge benefit and unique in the workplace. We have already started to see an uptake in other benefits we provide through this platform, providing ‘peace of mind’ when it comes to absence in the workplace or the need to receive hospital treatment – through these aspects of the platform, and if they chose to take up these benefits, our colleagues continue to receive an income if they are too unwell to work or have an important medical appointment. 

The great opportunity here and one of the reasons why working at E-zec is so rewarding is that our colleagues have a choice of benefits they can access… We recognise that what’s important to one may be different to another – flexibility is key and that’s the aim of our Reward and Benefits Strategy, which we will continue to develop moving forward.”   

Shaping E-zec’s fleet of the future with Venari

E-zec Medical fleet and ambulance crews visit Venari

As part of its vision for the future, which involves fully harnessing the skills, enthusiasm and passion of all of its colleagues, in July 2022 E-zec assembled a group of volunteers from across the business including colleagues from fleet, ambulance care assistants and key stakeholders. This Vehicle Specification Steering Group‘s first stop was a visit to Venari in Goole to consult with them about the development and build of E-zec’s new ambulances. The meeting included a tour of the factory and production line to help the team to understand the process of converting a base light commercial vehicle into an ambulance. Patient transport equipment and resource specialist Ferno also attended and ran a demonstration session of all the various equipment that they currently have available.

The result of the meeting and all the great ideas, comments and feedback given by the group, was that Venari are working with E-zec’s fleet team, lead by Mark Vardon, to develop an industry-leading ambulance for the future.

Head of Fleet Mark Vardon said after the steering group’s visit: “We Listen, We Learn, We Adapt! This was a great opportunity for our road-based colleagues to voice their opinion on our plans for the E-zec fleet of the future. I would like to thank all of the steering group for their time and invaluable input. I would also like to thank Oliver North – CEO at Venari – and his team for their hospitality and making the E-zec team feel so welcome on the day. Also thanks to Trust Ford, Ford Fleet Management and Ferno for their support.”

Flu vaccination

Supporting our colleagues’ and patients’ health and wellbeing during flu season. Experts are predicting that flu levels will be higher than usual this winter.

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