This might seem like a totally odd question to be asking yourself but keep reading to find out why this is a real concern.
Did you know that event first aid is not a regulated industry? A surprising fact when you look at how heavily regulated other healthcare services are across the UK. Even more surprising is the number of cases where fake medics are still being identified within large NHS trusts; such as the recent case of a fake Paramedic in the London Ambulance Service.
Even with strict governance and regulation we are still seeing cases every year of fake medics working within the NHS system.
Unfortunately, without regulation and robust governance in the event first aid industry it makes it increasingly difficult for event organisers to navigate and decipher the wheat from the chaff.
It is impossible to know the exact number of event first aid companies across the UK as many are operating as self-employed individuals or sole traders. I think it would be fair to say, many hundreds are in operation at any one time.
Unfortunately, this industry attracts people who may not be who they say they are. An individual operating as self-employed or a sole trader can work any number of events directly for an event organiser without actually having any suitable qualifications to do so. They may also not have any security checks, insurance or governance in place for their services.
As the event organiser you may not even be aware of this, as you believe they have booked a service from a company and assume everything is in order. I mean why wouldn’t you?
Many first aid providers will use people who do not hold formal qualifications or indeed any valid experience. This practice is deplorable when an event organiser is subcontracting this important safety service, in good faith that the correct service is being provided.
So here is what you can do as an event organiser in an effort to protect yourself and gather assurance that the first aiders being supplied are indeed qualified:
1. Check the qualification of first aiders being provided.
2. Check the date the qualification was achieved and any expiry date.
3. Check the experience of the first aiders being provided.
4. Check the company owner/sole trader background.
5. Check the providers insurance policies.
6. Ask for references from their other customers.
7. Check reviews online to see if concerns have been raised.
8. Remember if it sounds too cheap; it is too cheap.
At Aldo Medical Services all of our medics are trained in the NHS and have experience in an emergency ambulance setting. All of our medics undertake a formal recruitment process which includes full qualification and registration checks as well as references and security checks. We are open an honest with our clients and work closely to provide assurances around our compliance.
I will be posting a future blog around the different levels of ‘first aid’ qualifications, to help event organisers establish the actual qualifications and skill sets that are in use. Unfortunately, this does bring further concerns.
If you are concerned about a current provider and you are not able to establish the correct information and don’t know where to go next, then Aldo Medical Services will happily offer free impartial advice.