Q When I hire an ambulance what can I expect?
A: The ambulance and crew should be fit-for-purpose, spotlessly clean and all patient care equipment should be in perfect working order. The ambulance should arrive on time and the crew should seek to be properly briefed by nursing staff or family members on the condition of the patient when they arrive.
The crew may elect to carry out a full medical assessment of the patient prior to transport.
Q. What about infection control and hand-hygiene?
A: Hand hygiene is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the simplest and most effective way of preventing the transmission of infections such as MRSA and C.Diff. The crew should follow strict infection control procedures and have ready access to hand hygiene facilities on board their ambulance.
Don't be afraid to ask them if they have washed their hands!
Medicall ambulances now carry single-use fully disposable bed-linen as a further barrier to cross-infection.
Q: Is the operator properly accredited to provide an ambulance service?
A: All ambulance operators offering services to the public, of whatever nature, must be accredited by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council. Check their website here. If your chosen operator is not present they are NOT accredited.
N.B. There could be serious public liability issues for the Hirer of a non-acccredited ambulance service in the event of an accident or incident requiring the treatment of a patient.
Many of the private ambulance services are now accredited by the US standards organisation the Joint Commission International (JCI) or a UK based organisation, CHKS. These standards are intended to ensure very high standards in all areas of ambulance operations. Check your provider is accredited to one of these organisations.
Q: Are the crew properly qualified?
A: All ambulance crews are obliged to carry their PHECC Practitioners Licence under the terms of private health insurance contracts. Picture identification should also be prominently displayed. Its easy to check a crews bona fides. Go to the PHECC website, here, and simply enter the crew member's surname.
If you have any doubts feel free to ask, genuine crews will be only too happy to produce their identification.
N.B. Ambulance crews may only treat patients and administer medications if they are employed directly by a PHECC accredited ambulance service. They cannot operate independently nor as 'sub-contractors'.
Q: Is the vehicle fit-for-purpose?
A: Generally, the ambulance must conform to the lower of the European CEN1789/2000 standards - i.e. it must be 'Compliant', less than 6 years old and have travelled less than 100,000 miles.
More modern ambulances (April 2012 onwards) must conform to a higher safety standard under European Regulations known as 'Whole Vehicle Type Approval' (ECWVTA) - see here for details.
If in doubt ask the operator for documentary evidence.
Q: Are you dissatisfied with the service provided?
A: Remember, in almost all cases, you have a choice of ambulance operator. Raise your concerns with the operator in the first instance. If you are still unhappy, take the matter up with your health insurance company. If you don't complain the problems you encountered will persist. Please see here for details of how to make a complaint.
Q: What about the cost?
A: Costs will obviously vary between operators and will depend on time and distance. Check if your operator has a base near you - this will substantially reduce your costs. Local trips may be less expensive than you might expect.
Q: Can I claim from my Private Health Insurance?
A: Private health insurers cover many typical ambulance transports. An ambulance operator will tell you immediately if you are covered or not. Even if your insurer does not cover the transport, the cost can normally be offset against your tax liabilities.
Medicall Ambulance has direct payment arrangments with all the major health insurance providers.
Q: A relative has been discharged from an Emergency Department / Hospital Ward. How do I get them home quickly?
A: In the current environment a public ambulance may not be immediately available to carry out the transfer. In many cases a private ambulance may be available earlier, for non-emergency transports only.
Why not contact Medicall Ambulance on 1890 666 999 to see if we can help?
We, in Medicall Ambulance Service, are known for our willingness to source and invest in new technology and innovative techniques to deliver the safest services possible. We continuously seek out new and improved diagnostic, therapeutic and patient comfort equipment from across the world.
Recent examples of this unique approach to top class service delivery include:
The LIFEPAK® 15
The LIFEPAK® 15 cardiac monitor/defibrillator has 12-lead ECG capabilities and can provide ST-trending for STEMI patients - allowing early detection of potentially life threatening changes in a patient's cardiac condition. The device is also capable of cardio-version, pacing, monitoring of SpO2, carbon monoxide and methemoglobin levels and provides non-invasive blood pressure monitoring - all on board an ambulance on its way to an Emergency Department.
The LIFEPAK® 15 also provides the facility for the ambulance crew to transmit details of a patient's condition direct to the Receiving Hospital/Facility enabling rapid diagnosis and allowing care planning to commence as early as possible.
Medicall Ambulance were the first ambulance service in Ireland to deploy the LIFEPAK® 15 across its entire fleet.
Electrically Operated Stretchers
Medicall Ambulance was the first ambulance service in Europe to introduce the Stryker Power PRO TL electrically operated ambulance stretcher. With a 318kg/700lb capacity, these stretchers can safely assist with bariatric patients using the Stryker XPS system, vastly improving patient comfort and crew safety in all circumstances by removing the need for crews to physically lift a patient.
Intra-aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) Locking System & Emergency Back-Up Power Supply
In co-operation with major cardiac catheterisation laboratory staff, Medicall Ambulance Service have designed a patented locking system which safely secures these vital devices during emergency transports. Cleverly designed to keep pump and stretcher from separating at all stages of these critical transfers, this system is unique to Medicall Ambulance and is not available to our competitors.
All our vehicles are fitted with inverters allowing us to provide 220/240v power supply during the transport. This removes the need to rely on battery power alone, provides system redundancy and vastly improves patient safety.
Why not call us to discuss your facility's patient transport needs today?