The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Cambridgeshire based air ambulance service ‘outstanding’, after an inspection carried out at its airbase in September.

Magpas Air Ambulance provides 24/7 emergency care to critically ill and injured patients in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and the surrounding counties and, as one of the oldest emergency medical charities operating in the UK, has pioneered the development of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM).

During the inspection, the CQC found that Magpas Air Ambulance delivered an outstanding service with ‘many examples of outstanding practice’ highlighting that the service created a ‘positive patient focused culture’, used ‘innovation and research to improve patient outcomes’ and achieve the service’s mission of saving lives.

Lead inspector Quentin Colley-Bontoft said, “The patients we spoke with told us that the support and intervention of staff gave them outstanding care, life support and interventions which enabled them to go on and lead their lives to the full and limited the impact of their serious injuries or conditions.”

Zoe Robinson, CQC head of hospital inspection, explained “We were very impressed with Magpas Operational Base. It was exceeding the steps we would expect it to take to ensure people receive safe and effective care and treatment. This meant the service was delivering exceptional outcomes for people and saving lives. Being rated outstanding by CQC is the result of considerable hard work, so I congratulate everyone at the service who achieved this high standard for the people they serve.”

The service was also praised for its strong and inspirational leadership and visible person-centred culture where staff were highly motivated and exceptionally proud to work for the service and the impact they had on peoples’ lives.

Magpas Air Ambulance Chief Executive, Daryl Brown MBE, said “I am delighted that the service has been rated as outstanding—it is a reflection on the whole team and the huge amount of hard work and dedication that they contribute daily. I want to express my thanks to everyone at the charity, our patients and supporters – it is only by all us working together that we can achieve such excellent results.”

Dr Simon Lewis, the organisation’s medical director added, “For 50 years Magpas Air Ambulance has pioneered innovation and excellence in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine and trained generations of highly skilled clinicians. Recognition of our outstanding service will make us more determined to do everything we can to give our patients the very best care long into the future.”