The following guidance is for event organisers to assist them in the provision of adequate First Aid and Medical cover for events following best practice and statutory guidance. There are a number of guides available for event organisers giving guidance on the minimum and safe levels of cover dependent on the event type. These include:
- The Purple Guide
- The HSE Events health and safety
- Department for Culture, Media and Sports - Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds
- United Kingdom Athletics:
- Road race medical services
- A good practice guide
- For the provision of first aid and medical services at UK athletics licensed road races.
In planning for events the event organiser is expected to undertake a risk assessment that considers the medical requirements and decide on the level of cover required after consulting the above guides. The event organiser will need to ensure that a competent medical provider is appointed to provide medical cover and a number of checks should be made for the organisers to be assured that the medical provider is capable of delivering the service.
Key checks and considerations for event medical providers
The following are key checks and considerations that event organisers should make on organisations providing medical and First aid cover:
- Public Liability Insurance – current and valid providing cover for any negligence claims and for the provision of first aid / medical cover. (This should cover all people providing the cover e.g. all first aiders)
- For Ambulance providers providing treatment and transport – should be able to provide evidence of current Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration – mandatory where the provider transports people off an event site to
- Where the provider uses Registered Health professionals e.g. Paramedics, Nurses & Doctors; The supplier should provide registration numbers for these people to enable the event organiser to check their registration status (see below). Where registered professionals are required as part of the cover recommended then all individuals should have current valid UK registration with their relevant
- Where guidance indicates an Ambulance is required for the event this normally means the ambulance should be crewed with a least one registered Paramedic (see below for guidance). The ambulance crew would normally consist of a second crew member trained to a suitable standard to operate an emergency ambulance e.g. Ambulance Technician etc. (see below)
- Ambulance provision provided on site for the event (where required) should be capable and willing to transport any patients who require hospitalisation, to a suitable Emergency Department with minimal delays. (See above note about CQC registration).
- It is expected that where ambulance cover is indicated in the guidance for the event there should be no requirement for 999 calls to the local ambulance service (except for multiple casualties or a Major Incident)
- Ambulance providers should be capable of providing emergency transportation to hospital e.g. Blue light transfer for life threatening conditions. The provider should be able to demonstrate suitable insurance and driver competence for this if
Key roles and definitions
The following are the key roles and qualifications that would be expected of First aid and Medical providers for event providers. Organisers are advised to check the competency of the staff being provided and may request evidence from providers e.g. certificates etc. Where staff hold professional registration PIN numbers can be requested, and online checks made with professional bodies.
- First Aider - A person who holds a current certificate of first aid competency. This certification should preferably be issued by one of the voluntary aid societies such as St John Ambulance, British Red Cross or St Andrew’s
- Paramedic - A person who holds a current registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Paramedic (note registration numbers should be checked online on the HCPC website). They should have immediate access to drugs and equipment to carry out a full range of paramedic duties, which should include resuscitation drugs, pain relief and medication to treat other common conditions such as asthma, diabetes and
- Ambulance Technician - A person who has followed a course of training to operate on an ambulance as an Ambulance Technician. This would include ambulance service IHCD training, or other recognised technician or emergency medical
- Emergency / Ambulance Care Assistant - A person who holds a certificate to operate as an Emergency / Ambulance care assistant issued by an NHS or other (private) ambulance service. This should normally incorporate ambulance aid / first aid and basic life support training as a minimum.
- Nurse – A person who holds a current registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Nurse (note registration numbers should be checked online on the NMC website). They should also be competent to perform additional skills as required e.g. suturing
- Doctor - A person who holds a current registration with the UK General Medical Council (GMC) - List of Registered Medical Practitioners (note registration numbers should be checked online on the GMC website). They should have access to their own medical equipment and drugs suitable for the event type they are providing cover for including resuscitation drugs, pain relief and medication to treat other common conditions such as asthma, diabetes and
Volunteer First Aiders
Volunteer first aiders should fulfil the same criteria as other medical personnel, i.e. they should be suitably qualified, experienced and insured to provide event medical cover.
If they are in attendance independently i.e. not at the behest of their employer (e.g. NHS) they will not be covered by their employers' insurance. Doctors are the exception to this as they are insured through the General Medical Council. To protect volunteers (as practitioners) and event organisers against possible third party litigation it is recommended they have appropriate first aid insurance.
The above includes Community First Responders (CFRs) affiliated to EMAS. CFRs require special dispensation from their EMAS CFR Manager to provide medical provision at events, without it, they will not be covered by EMAS insurance.
Last Updated on Wednesday, September 6, 2023